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In March of 2006, a National Research Council panel appointed by the National Academy of Sciences released a report of their in-depth research on fluoride toxicity, completed at the request of the EPA. This panel concluded that the EPA's current safety standards for fluoride in water supplies are not protective, that too much fluoride at the present standard level of 4ppm (parts per million) can be harmful to health, and it recommends that the EPA lower this 4ppm Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG). It remains to be seen whether the EPA will comply with the NRC recommendation. This 450-page report covers a lot of ground, detailing many health risks from overexposure of fluoride from multiple sources. The panel makes many recommendations for further scientific research on health effects of fluoride. (Read online for free: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11571#toc)
In November, 2006, as a result of the NRC report, the ADA issued an "e-gram" to its members, quietly offering "Interim Guidance on Reconstituted Infant Formula", in which it warned about overexposure to infants if formula is mixed with fluoridated water, which can result in "enamel fluorosis" in babies' teeth. http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/positions/statements/fluoride_infants.asp?id=egram_061109 Soon after the ADA warning, the CDC posted a similar "quiet" warning on their website. The media picked up on this story afte Soon after the ADA warning, the CDC posted a similar "quiet" warning on their website. The media picked up on this story after fluoride opponents alerted them, but, for the most part, not much publicity has resulted. Mothers are still making their babies’ formula with fluoridated water because the word hasn’t reached them.
Thanks to FTRC-sponsorship, Dr. Phyllis Mullenix has published an article in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, with the title, "Fluoride Poisoning: A Puzzle with Hidden Pieces". See FTRC Research & Programs for an abstract and a link to the paper.
Some significant news in recent years related to fluoride toxicity started with the publicity in 2005 surrounding the exposure of a doctoral thesis "hidden" in the medical library of Harvard University since 2001. Subsequently, a peer-reviewed paper based on that thesis was published in April 2006 in a mainstream medical journal, Cancer Causes and Control.
This author of this work, Elise Bassin, presented a rigorous interpretation of data collected by her advisor, Dr. Chester Douglass, of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Bassin’s thesis found a five to seven-fold increase of osteosarcoma (a rare but fatal bone cancer) in young men after exposure to fluoridated water during ages 6-8. This peer-reviewed paper adds more credibility to these findings, which are only the latest of several studies indicating increased osteosarcoma in young males, both animal and human.
The national environmental organization, Environmental Working Group (EWG), led a media exposť of these findings and the scandal that erupted after it was discovered that Dr. Douglass had reported to the NRC in their study on the toxicity of fluoride, that no correlation could be found, even while he used Dr. Bassin’s thesis as a reference.
EWG then released this information to the national media, and asked the National Institute for Environmental Health Services (NIEHS), Dr. Douglass’ funding agency, to conduct an investigation into the allegations that he gave fraudulent information to the NRC. This news made it into the national media, most eloquently in the Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2005.
On basis of this news, eleven EPA unions, representing 7,000 employees, including many research scientists, issued a call to Congress for an immediate moratorium on the practice of water fluoridation pending a full-scale Congressional investigation into the public policy. They also wrote to the EPA administration requesting the lowering of the EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for fluoride in the water from 4ppm to 0ppm, which is normally done for known or suspected carcinogens. Thus far, the EPA has not responded.