EVERETT RESTARTS FLUORIDATION
SAFE WATER GROUPS URGES COUNCIL TO HOLD HEARINGS
by James Robert Deal, Attorney
with Dr. Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D., Chemistry
and with Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH
April 21, 2012
On April 10, Everett Utilities turned the fluoride back on. It had been off for two months to allow for repairs to the fluoridation facility.
At the City Council meeting on April 11, Council President Gipson explained why the Council did not act to prevent fluoridation from restarting: There were referendums on fluoridation in 1990 and 1992, with fluoridation winning by 51% and 62%. “The voters have spoken. They elected us. They are the boss. We listen to them”. He added that constituents are not exactly ringing his phone off the wall to complain about fluoridation.
Safe water groups had urged the City Council not to restart fluoridation without first holding hearings. (The Herald, “Fluoridated Water Supply: Utility should have to prove its safety”, March 24.)
Dr. Gary Goldbaum, president of the Snohomish Health Department responded that fluoridation is “safe and effective” and should proceed without further delay. (The Herald, “Fluoridated Water a safe, low-cost public health tool”, April 5).
With all due respect, we take issue with Dr. Goldbaum. He cites no scientific evidence to support his “safe and effective” assurances – except for his assertion that fluoride is naturally occurring. While it is true that fluoride is naturally occurring, so too are lead and arsenic. Being naturally occurring does not make something safe to consume. Further, the naturally occurring fluoride is generally calcium fluoride, not the industrial grade fluorosilicic acid which Everett pours into our water at the rate of 250 gallons per day. Everett buys a tanker truck load every three weeks, at a cost of around $16,500 per load.
Dr. Goldbaum offers endorsements instead of scientific evidence: Yes, CDC and EPA endorse fluoridation, but many of our agencies have come under control of the industries they regulate. Further, endorsements cut both ways. Many respected scientists oppose fluoridation, including Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in medicine, along with thousands of doctors, dentists, nurses, PhDs, and other professionals.
Dr. Goldbaum cites evidence that tooth decay has declined and then jumps to the conclusion that fluoridation caused the decline. Tooth decay started declining before fluoridation was instituted and has continued declining both in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. The proof that fluoridation is not the cause of the decline in tooth decay is the fact that decay rates have dropped just as much in non-fluoridated continental Europe as they have in the United States. When Cuba and East Germany stopped fluoridating, tooth decay declined.
The CDC website lists many studies showing 10% to 30% reductions in decay. But these studies never claim that fluoridation eliminates all decay. The real keys to ending decay are cutting out sugar, eating lots of mineral rich green foods, getting sunlight or vitamin D supplementation, brushing and flossing, and primary dental care. The new Affordable Care Act should cover primary dental care.
Because of their poor diet the poor have the most tooth decay and are most affected by dental fluorosis. Fluoridation is not a magic bullet for ending tooth decay. Why give 40.7% of our children fluorosis just to achieve such a small or even non-existent reduction in decay?
Dr. Goldbaum mentions that the EPA and the CDC support fluoridation, but this is only partially correct. The EPA is divided into pro-industry and pro-consumer camps. It is the EPA administrators who support fluoridation. EPA scientists, represented by the EPA Union, strongly oppose fluoridation and do so based on science.
Likewise the CDC (an agency under HHS) is divided. One small dental health office within CDC trumpets support for fluoridation, while CDC scientists post articles on the CDC web site which admit that 40.7% of children are getting dental fluorosis and that the effect of fluoride on teeth is “primarily topical” and “not systemic”.
Further, neither the EPA nor the CDC has any jurisdiction to encourage or require adding fluoride to water. The Safe Drinking Water forbids them from requiring fluoridation: “No national primary drinking water regulation may require the addition of any substance for preventive health care purposes unrelated to contamination of drinking water”.
Neither EPA nor CDC may require fluoridation, so they only encourage it and work to convince states, cities, and water districts to require it, passing the buck down the line to local governing bodies such as the Everett City Council, thus technically avoiding violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The FDA too is divided. Although politics prevent the FDA from banning fluoridation (FDA too is under HHS), the FDA has never approved it. Although it has not done so yet, the FDA has warned that it could prosecute criminally for violating FDA regulations. It is illegal to add hydrogen fluoride to drinking water water without prior FDA approval. See 21 CFR 310.545. Around 2.0% of Everett’s industrial fluorosilicic acid is hydrogen fluoride, a very high level.
We will discuss the rest of Dr. Goldblum’s arguments in a later article.
Safe water groups urge constituents: Call your favorite Council members and urge them to put this item on the agenda and give it due consideration.
See http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/press-releases for the full version of this article and supporting references.
By line: Dr. Sauerheber holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, teaches at Palomar College in San Diego and is widely published. See www.fluoride-class-action.com/ask-dr-sauerheber. Dr. Osmunson is a cosmetic dentist practicing in Bellevue and Beaverton, prolific writer on public health issues, and president of Washington Action for Safe Water. See www.washingtonsafewater.com/bd-of-health. James Robert Deal practices law in Lynnwood Washington and is president of Fluoride Class Action.