Updates on the Fight to End Water Fluoridation
It’s Fluoride Awareness Week here at Mercola.com, and I spoke with Paul Connett, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), for the occasion. Connett has been instrumental in catalyzing the movement to remove fluoride — which is neurotoxic — from water supplies in the U.S. as well as internationally, and he shared some exciting updates that have us moving closer to a post-water-fluoridation world.
First up is an update to the historic lawsuit that FAN filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court. In 2016, FAN and coalition partners filed a petition asking the EPA to ban the deliberate addition of fluoridating chemicals to U.S. drinking water under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
The EPA dismissed FAN’s petition, prompting FAN’s lawsuit challenging the EPA’s denial. Although the EPA filed a motion to dismiss the case, the motion was denied by the court in 2017.1 The trial was held in June 2020, and while the judge has yet to make a final ruling,2 it’s moving in a positive direction.
“We had a recent hearing in which the judge denied the latest effort by the EPA to get the case dropped,” Connett said in our interview. “He’s ruled in our favor several times now on key decisions. What he made clear is he’s very interested in the science of this issue. He wants to wait before he makes his ruling.”
Judge Plans to Review New Fluoride Study Showing IQ Reduction
The judge hearing the case plans to review two things before making a decision: the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) final review on fluoride’s neurotoxicity when it comes out, along with a benchmark dose study (BMD) study that was recently published on fluoride’s effects on IQ levels.
“So, half of what the judge wants to see has come out,” Connett said. Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an internationally known expert in environmental epidemiology, with ties to both Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Southern Denmark, is the EPA’s go-to person on mercury’s neurotoxicity3 and he has warned about the risks of exposing children to neurotoxicants during early life and in utero.
Grandjean and colleagues just published a landmark study showing that exposure to very low levels of fluoride during pregnancy impairs the brain development of the child.4 The study found that a maternal urine fluoride concentration of 0.2 mg/L, which is exceeded four to five times in pregnant women living in fluoridated communities, was enough to lower IQ by one point.
Not only do the findings suggest that water-fluoride recommendations meant to protect pregnant women and children should be revised,5 but they show that there’s significant risk even at current fluoridation levels. Connett said:
“What they found, they would predict a lowering of IQ in children if the pregnant mother’s urine was at 0.2 milligrams per liter … To put that into perspective, the average in north California and in Canada, two studies, is between 0.8 and one part per million. So in other words … four to five times more.
So you could predict (because this is a linear relationship), the average loss of IQ for children born in the United States, if their mother drinks fluoridated tap water, is going to be between four and five points, and that’s massive when you look at the impact on a whole population. Massive.”
As Stuart Cooper, FAN’s campaign director, previously stated, “It has been well established that a loss of one IQ point leads to a reduced lifetime earning ability of $18,000. Summed over the whole population we are talking about a loss of billions of dollars of earning ability each year.”
The trial is moving along in a positive direction, but they’re not out of the woods yet. Connett noted that there is evidence from confidential sources that pressure has been put upon the NTP, so there is concern that their findings could be whitewashed. “Once again, we might be confronted with the best science being nullified by political interference,” he said.
Expert Research Highlights Fluoride’s Dangers to Children
One of the experts who testified during the trial was Dr. Bruce Lanphear, who is known as “the EPA’s ‘go-to man’ on lead’s neurotoxicity, and his work shaped their lead standards.”6 Lanphear’s JAMA Pediatrics study, published in 2019, found that every 1 mg/L increase in fluoride in Canadian pregnant women’s urine was linked to a 4.5-point decrease in IQ in their male children.7
The study is one of several NIH-funded studies8 that Connett believes will be key to the case. “Fabulous methodology, the best methodology to date,” Connett said. Other NIH-funded studies include:
•In a study of 213 Mexican mother-child pairs, higher levels of fluoride exposure during pregnancy were associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)9
•Babies fed formula mixed with fluoridated water had IQs that were lower than babies fed formula mixed with nonfluoridated water, and researchers noted, “Consumption of formula reconstituted w
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