Why the HHS and EPA Decision on Fluoride is Bad

Why the HHS and EPA Decision on Fluoride is Bad

Today’s news from The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding fluoride is making national news. In essence, they will be recommending a lower “safe” level of fluoride consumption. Great news, right? Not really.

This decision is an In an obvious attempt to placate those who rightfully stand behind the research that denounces the benefits of fluoride by “changing” what they deem to be safe levels. In actuality, they aren’t changing anything. The previous recommendation was for 0.7-1.2 milligrams per liter.  Now, to “reduce the likelihood of dental fluorosis,” they are recommending a strict 0.7 milligrams per liter.  This bears no resemblance to normal margin-of-safety practice, in the light of the 2006 National Research Council report that cast doubt on the EPA’s maximum safe limit of 4.0 milligrams per liter.

This is yet another attempt to “hang on to the myth that water fluoridation is safe and effective” (The IAOMT || http://www.IAOMT.org).

You can read the press release for yourself, below.

Whether you believe that fluoride is good or not, most Americans exceed the recommended limit of fluoride through their daily intake of food… without ever drinking fluoridated water. On top of that, fluoride is a prescription drug. Putting it into the water (something San Diego has now opted to do) is forced medication of the masses. Add that to the fact that removing fluoride is very difficult and very expensive (this is a topic we will be getting into shortly, but your options are limited in both availability and effectiveness. In short order, you can try a whole-house fluoride filter — most of which use activated alumina as a medium — or a reverse osmosis system if you prefer point of use), and what you have is a government that has imposed it’s (lobbied) will on the masses with no form of backing out… and in this case it affects our health.

This decision will be posted shortly in the Federal Register to allow the public to comment for 30 days. As it is not yet available to comment on, you may do so my sending your thoughts directly to CWFcomments@cdc.gov.

Here is the press release from the HHS:

News Release

Friday, January 7, 2011
Contact: OASH ashmedia@hhs.gov 202-205-0143
EPA isa.jalil@epa.gov or 202-564-3226

HHS and EPA announce new scientific assessments and actions on fluoride

Agencies working together to maintain benefits of preventing tooth decay
while preventing excessive exposure

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today are announcing important steps to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to provide the maximum protection to the American people to support good dental health, especially in children. HHS is proposing that the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water can be set at the lowest end of the current optimal range to prevent tooth decay, and EPA is initiating review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.

These actions will maximize the health benefits of water fluoridation, an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay while reducing the possibility of children receiving too much fluoride. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named the fluoridation of drinking water one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

“One of water fluoridation’s biggest advantages is that it benefits all residents of a community—at home, work, school, or play,” said HHS Assistant Secretary for Health Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH. “Today’s announcement is part of our ongoing support of appropriate fluoridation for community water systems, and its effectiveness in preventing tooth decay throughout one’s lifetime.”

“Today both HHS and EPA are making announcements on fluoride based on the most up to date scientific data,” said EPA Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water, Peter Silva. “EPA’s new analysis will help us make sure that people benefit from tooth decay prevention while at the same time avoiding the unwanted health effects from too much fluoride.”

HHS and EPA reached an understanding of the latest science on fluoride and its effect on tooth decay prevention and the development of dental fluorosis that may occur with excess fluoride consumption during the tooth forming years, age 8 and younger. Dental fluorosis in the United States appears mostly in the very mild or mild form – as barely visible lacy white markings or spots on the enamel. The severe form of dental fluorosis, with staining and pitting of the tooth surface, is rare in the United States.

There are several reasons for the changes seen over time, including that Americans have access to more sources of fluoride than they did when water fluoridation was first introduced in the United States in the 1940s. Water is now one of several sources of fluoride. Other common sources include dental products such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, prescription fluoride supplements, and fluoride applied by dental professionals. Water fluoridation and fluoride toothpaste are largely responsible for the significant decline in tooth decay in the U.S. over the past several decades.

HHS’ proposed recommendation of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water replaces the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. This updated recommendation is based on recent EPA and HHS scientific assessments to balance the benefits of preventing tooth decay while limiting any unwanted health effects. These scientific assessments will also guide EPA in making a determination of whether to lower the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water, which is set to prevent adverse health effects.

The new EPA assessments of fluoride were undertaken in response to findings of the National Academies of Science (NAS).  At EPA’s request, in 2006 NAS reviewed new data on fluoride and issued a report recommending that EPA update its health and exposure assessments to take into account bone and dental effects and to consider all sources of fluoride. In addition to EPA’s new assessments and the NAS report, HHS also considered current levels of tooth decay and dental fluorosis and fluid consumption across the United States.

The notice of the proposed recommendation will be published in the Federal Register soon and HHS will accept comments from the public and stakeholders on the proposed recommendation for 30 days at CWFcomments@cdc.gov.  HHS is expecting to publish final guidance for community water fluoridation by spring 2011. You may view a prepublication version of the proposed recommendation at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/01/pre_pub_frn_fluoride.html.  Comments regarding the EPA documents, Fluoride: Dose-Response Analysis For Non-cancer Effects and Fluoride: Exposure and Relative Source Contribution Analysis should be sent to EPA at FluorideScience@epa.gov.  The documents can be found at http://water.epa.gov/action/advisories/drinking/fluoride_index.cfm

For more information about community water fluoridation, as well as information for health care providers and individuals on how to prevent tooth decay and reduce the chance of children developing dental fluorosis, visit http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation. For information about the national drinking water regulations for fluoride, visit: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/fluoride.cfm



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