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EPA Rejects Anti-Fluoridation Group's Request

Author: American Dental Association (ADA) : Contact: ada.org

Published: 2017-02-28 : (Rev. 2017-03-07)

Synopsis:

ADA commends the Environmental Protection Agency for its decision to deny request to ban community water fluoridation.

Main Digest

The American Dental Association (ADA) commends the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its scientifically sound decision today to deny a request to ban community water fluoridation.

Hundreds of communities across the country optimally fluoridate their water supplies, providing an estimated 211 million people with increased protection from dental disease.

In November of last year, a group opposed to community water fluoridation petitioned the EPA with a request that the agency ban the addition of fluoridating chemicals to drinking water. The petitioners claimed that the level of fluoride used by communities across the nation negatively affects IQs.

EPA scientists denied the petition, noting in their official justification that,

"the petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S."

The EPA justification, published Feb. 27 in the Federal Register, noted principles associated with sound science:

"When an association is suggested between an exposure and a disease outcome, the studies need to be assessed to determine whether the effect is truly because of exposure or if alternate explanations are possible. The way to do that is to adjust for potential confounders, such as diet, behavior, and socioeconomic status [...]"

"It is always heartening when our government comes down on the side of sound science," said ADA President Gary Roberts. "Public health policy recommending community water fluoridation results from years of scientifically rigorous analysis of the amount of fluoride people receive from all sources.

"Water fluoridation is effective and safe," Dr. Roberts said. "Today's decision by the EPA is based on solid science."

The ADA's website has more information on the benefits of community water fluoridation (www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation).

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