Amount of fluoride regularly consumed in fluoridated areas exceeds doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects.
A coalition of environmental, medical and health groups have served the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a Petition calling on the Agency to ban the addition of fluoridation chemicals to public water supplies due to the risks these chemicals pose to the brain, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
The Petition, which includes over 2,500 pages of supporting scientific documentation, explains that "the amount of fluoride now regularly consumed by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas exceeds the doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects." Signers to the Petition include FAN, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and Moms Against Fluoridation.
"If EPA applies its own risk assessment guidelines to fluoridation, we believe it will agree that fluoridation poses an unacceptably high risk to the brain," says attorney Michael Connett, FAN legal adviser.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) authorizes EPA to prohibit the "particular use" of a chemical that presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. TSCA gives EPA the authority to prohibit drinking water additives.
Subpopulations especially vulnerable to fluoride's neurotoxic effects include infants, the elderly, kidney patients, and the nutrient deficient (e.g. iodine and calcium). Evidence also suggests that African-Americans may suffer disproportionate harm as well.
EPA scientists characterize chemicals with human evidence of neurotoxicity as "gold standard" chemicals warranting assessment priority. Not only is there human research on fluoride neurotoxicity, it is so extensive that fluoride is classified alongside lead, mercury and PCBs as one of only 12 chemicals "known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings." (Lancet Neurology)
At EPA's request, the National Research Council (NRC) reviewed fluoride toxicology research and concluded in 2006, "It is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain."
Since NRC's review, 196 fluoride/brain studies have been published, including 61 human studies.
Contrary to claims that only high doses of fluoride are linked to brain damage, studies of fluoride-exposed human populations consistently find neurotoxic effects at water fluoride levels well below the EPA's "safe" level (4 mg/L).
One recent study from China found that children ingesting just 1.4 milligrams of fluoride each day suffered a 5-point loss in IQ. Some children living in fluoridated areas in the United States ingest doses comparable to this level.
Research also shows that some Americans have fluoride levels in their urine and blood that equal or exceed the levels linked to cognitive deficits.
"As with lead, fluoride is a neurotoxic and an endocrine disrupting substance that has no place in our drinking water," Connett states. "The EPA should follow Europe's lead and end fluoridation."
EPA has 90 days to respond to the Petition.
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