Questions for Dr. Gary Goldbaum

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JAMES ROBERT DEAL ATTORNEY PLLC
PO Box 2276, Lynnwood, Washington  98036-2276
Telephone 425-771-1110, Fax 425-776-8081
James@JamesRobertDeal.com

QUESTIONS FOR DR. GOLDBAUM

May 9, 2012

Dr. Gary Goldbaum
Snohomish Health District
3020 Rucker Street, Suite 306
Everett, WA 98201-3971
Also sent by fax to 425-339-5263
Also sent by email to: ggoldbaum@snohd.org

Dear Dr. Goldbaum,

On February 9 of this year, Everett Utilities turned the fluoride off to repair pipes in the fluoridation building. The pipes were leaking hydrogen fluoride. Safe water groups 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.)

Writing with Dr. Stephen J. Lee, DDS, you responded that fluoridation is “safe and effective”. You announced that fluoridation would soon resume, and reassured the public that the two month interruption in fluoridation would not deprive them of the “benefits of fluoridation”. The tenor of your article would imply that you oppose holding hearings. (The Herald, “Fluoridated Water a safe, low-cost public health tool”, April 5).

On April 10, Everett Utilities turned the fluoride back on. 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”.

Councilman Drew Nielsen takes the position that this is a complex scientific issue, that the Council is not a “science court”, and therefore that the Council must rely on recognized scientific authorities such as the CDC, EPA, and you.

With all due respect, we take issue with your position. Because the City Council is relying on you for scientific advice, I am addressing this letter to you and asking for a written response.

In your April 5 article you cite no scientific evidence to support your “safe and effective” assurances – except for your 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 add to our water and consume, especially when people drink different amounts of water and have different pre-existent conditions. In your response, please address this issue.

When you say that fluoride is naturally occurring, you imply that the fluoride added to Everett water is the naturally occurring type. It is not. Naturally occurring fluoride is generally calcium fluoride (CaF2), which is not even classified as a poison. It would take a half pound of calcium fluoride to kill an adult but just seven paperclips weight of fluorosilicic acid.

The fluoridation materials Everett uses is a brew of dozens of elements and compounds, including around 23% industrial grade fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and 0.5% hydrogen fluoride (HF). It also contains dangerous levels of lead, arsenic, and other toxic substances.

Fluoridation started in 1945 with sodium fluoride, which is just as poisonous as fluorosilicic acid but contains less impurities. Around 92% of fluoridation is now done with the cheaper fluorosilicic acid. Phosphate fertilizer companies have a lot to sell – or pay to dispose of. By some estimates fluoridation has a $500 million impact on the fertilizer and chemical business.

It is a consistent error on the part of pro-fluoridationists that they lump all forms of fluoride together. The different fluorides behave differently. For example, fluorosilicic acid both contains lead and has a special ability to leach lead out of pipes. This is important because Everett pipes like Seattle pipes – private and public – contain a LOT of lead.

It is impossible to remove all lead pipes in Everett at any reasonable cost or within any reasonable time frame. But it is easy to reduce lead levels, and that is to stop adding fluorosilicic acid to our water. Where fluoridation stops, blood lead levels drop. It is odd that we go to such great lengths to reduce exposure to lead from old paint, while we are blind to the lead that we ingest as a result of fluoridating our water.

In your April 5 article, you did not respond to the evidence we presented that the industrial grade of fluoride used contains lead and leaches lead from pipes. Please address this issue in your response.

Your response ignores another type of fluoride, hydrogen fluoride (HF), one of the most toxic and penetrating of all compounds. No drug which contains hydrogen fluoride may be “labeled, represented, or promoted” as an “anticares drug product” 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 of a highly toxic compound. The use of hydrogen fluoride to prevent tooth decay is illegal.

In your article you rely on endorsements instead of scientific evidence, however, endorsements are not proof. You say that CDC and EPA endorse fluoridation, but this is only a half-truth. 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”.

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 those who violate FDA regulations.

Like legislatures, many of our agencies have been “captured” by 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. In your response, please explain why you rely so heavily on CDC and EPA endorsements.

You cite evidence that tooth decay has declined, and then you assert that fluoridation caused the decline. But you fail to prove any cause and effect connection. To the contrary, there is strong evidence that fluoridation does not reduce tooth decay. Tooth decay started declining before fluoridation was instituted and has continued declining both in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. The clearest 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. Fluoridation is not a “magic bullet”. *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 but does not.

For various reasons the poor have the most tooth decay and are most affected by dental fluorosis, particularly Blacks and Hispanics.

Further, neither the EPA nor the CDC has any jurisdiction to encourage, finance, 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, in an effort to avoid violating the Safe Drinking Water Act.

In our March 24 article, we pointed out that infants and fetuses are most vulnerable to fluoridation materials, that the toxins in fluoridation materials cross the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier, that they damage brain tissue and reduce IQ while the fetus is still in the womb. Convincing studies show lower intelligence in fluoridated areas. Please address these issues in your response.

The CDC and the ADA admit that we are giving dental fluorosis to 40.7 percent of children age 12-15. You say that “the minor changes in the tooth surface caused by fluorosis are not detectable by the average consumer or considered unsightly”, but this is not correct. Of the 40.7% affected, 8.6% of those suffer from mild fluorosis (white spots and some yellow and brown spots with up to 50% of enamel impacted), and 3.6% suffer from moderate and severe fluorosis (white spots and brown spots and sometimes pitting and chalky teeth and 50-100% of enamel impacted). Thus, more than a quarter of fluorosis cases (8.6% + 3.6% = 12.2% / 40.7% = 30%) are ugly and difficult and costly to cover up. Cosmetic dentists say the cost for veneers can run $1,000 per tooth and replacement veneers are required The cost for veneers can run $1,000 per tooth, and over a lifetime can cost $100,000. These are not “minor changes in the tooth surface”.

You minimize the extent and significance of fluorosis. However, the number of children affected in absolute terms with mild, moderate, and severe fluorisis adds up to around 15,327 children age 12-15 living in the 700,000 person Everett service area, 3,238 with mild fluorosis, and 1,356 with moderate to severe fluorosis. See http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/calculations.

Mild and moderate fluorosis are ugly and embarrassing. It is not acceptable to deface the teeth of this many children just to achieve an alleged 10% to 30% reduction in dental decay. This is especially true because fluoride can be administered topically.

Giving 40.7% of our children fluorosis in return for a 10% to 30% or even a non-existent reduction in decay is a bad bargain.

Most dentists believe fluoride is effective topically, via toothpaste and concentrated gels, but many dentists have concluded that it does not work systemically and therefore should not be forced on everyone through our drinking water. Please address the topical versus systemic issue in your response.

You make the standard pro-fluoridationist argument that fluoridation “saves $38 for every dollar invested”, a reference to Griffin’s Economic Evaluation of Fluoridation, which comes to such conclusions only by starting with the false assumptions that fluoridation (1) causes no collateral damage anyone drinking fluoridated water and (2) that there is a savings of $18 per hour in wages not lost by missing work to visit a dentist. However, Fluoride does cause harm, and the calculation presumes that even children and the unemployed save $18 per hour by not missing work. In her Tale of Two Studies, Carol Clinch shows this to be a contrived estimate based on incorrect assumptions. See also http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/deconstructing-michael-easley.

You assert that “more than 3,000 scientific studies have proven that appropriate fluoridation strengthens teeth …”, however, you do not say where these studies can be reviewed. In your response, please point out where I may access these 3,000 studies.

Until I receive your response, I will rely on the studies which the CDC presents as most  important, the cases cited in CDC’s 2011 proposal to reduce fluoride added to water to .7 ppm. See: www.fluoride-class-action.com/hhs/report-card-for-hhs.  If you read these studies, you will note that they discuss only tooth decay rates and dental fluorosis and that they consistently ignore the many harmful side effects of fluoridation – as do you.

In our March 24 article we pointed out that the fluoridation materials themselves are illegal. That is because Washington law, WAC 246-290-220(3), says: “Any treatment chemicals … added to water intended for potable use must comply with ANSI/NSF Standard 60.” The NSF web site and the NSF Standard for Drinking Water Additives, say: “Standard 60 … requires a toxicology review to determine that the product is safe at its maximum use level and … to determine if any contaminant concentrations have the potential to cause adverse human health effects.” However, NSF officials have admitted under oath that toxicological studies are not being done. Thus, fluoridation materials do not “comply” with NSF 60, and fluoridating the water with them is illegal. Would you please address this issue in your response?

In our March 24 article in the Herald, we suggested that hearings should be held regarding the health and effectiveness of fluoridation. Do you support or oppose hearings in which representatives from both camps may present their case on this important issue?

We pointed out that fluoridation materials are costing Everett around $300,000 per year. Everett buys a 5,200 gallon tanker load of fluorosilicic acid every three weeks and pours it into our water at the rate of 250 gallons per day. Each 5,200 gallon tanker load costs around $16,500. In your response would you please explain how you can justify such an expenditure, given the harsh cuts Everett is being forced to make in important services.

In your April 5 article you directed readers to the I Like My Teeth web site, www.ilikemyteeth.org. This web site features endorsements and smiling children but no scientific studies or other information which addresses the safety of effectiveness of fluoridation. In your response, please point out more substantial web sites.

I would also ask whether you wrote your April 5 article with the approval of the Snohomish Health District and whether your article represents the official position of the District. Please address these questions in your response.

Look under http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/press-releases for “Questions For Dr. Goldbaum” for the full version of this letter and supporting references.

Sincerely,

James Robert Deal, Attorney

Dr. Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.

Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH

 

James Robert Deal practices law in Lynnwood Washington and is president of Fluoride Class Action.  See www.Fluoride-Class-Action.com. Dr. Sauerheber holds a Ph.D. in chemistry, teaches at Palomar College in San Diego, and has published numerous peer reviewed articles in respected scientific journals. 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.

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