In November, six reputable organizations together with a group of citizens submitted a petition to the EPA concerning EPA authority under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). It includes 46 pages of citations documenting the neurotoxicity of fluoridation chemicals, including 61 human studies; 196 of the studies cited are just from the last decade, i.e since the 2006 National Research Council (NRC) wrote that “(fluoridation) has been reported to increase the accumulation of the neurotoxicant lead in the body.” The NRC politely dismissed the one 2000 study that denied the evidence of the lead-fluoride connection and instead called for more study. The TSCA petition provides a bibliography of that additional study specific to neurotoxicity.
Twenty-first century science documents three ways how fluoridation causes permanent brain damage. First, fluoride is an enzyme poison that bioaccumulates in bodies, bones and brains. Second, fluoride depresses thyroid hormones, which when depressed during critical periods of brain development result in learning disabilities. Finally, fluoride is corrosive and a catalyst that has an attraction for heavy metals. In other words, fluoridation accelerates the destruction of plumbing, pulling the metals into our water as well as enhancing the absorption of those metals into our blood and tissue.
No one likes to admit they’ve been wrong and inadvertently done harm -- not dentists, water departments or any organization. But anyone who allows their points of view to become ossified in a 1950s time warp in the face of modern evidence of harm is displaying confirmation bias, not scientific behavior. They are playing political CYA. They are lying to themselves and to the public.
In 2009, a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group (EWG) wrote a report with a pithy title, “Chloramine + Lead Pipes + Fluoride = Contaminated Tap Water.” Any disinfectant synergistically increases the damage caused by fluoride, although chloramine is the worst of them. Gloucester has been using chloramine since about 2010. Obviously, we need to disinfect our water, but there are better ways than using chloramine. Erin Brockovich has objected to both fluoride and chloramine as chemical water additives, documenting the harmful effects of each.
Nobel Prize nominee Lois Gibbs who blew the whistle on the contamination at Love Canal several decades ago and subsequently founded the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, issued a public statement in 2015 stating that fluoridation harms health and environment. Civil rights leader Andrew Young wrote his second letter opposing fluoridation as a human rights violation in 2016. Also in 2016, National Institute of Health adviser, author and medical scholar Dr. Mark Hyman wrote, “There are numerous mechanisms by which uncontrolled dosing of fluorides through water fluoridation can potentially harm thyroid function, the body and the brain.” All three have called for an immediate cessation of fluoridation and political investigation into the suppression of the science documenting harm.
Just for five minutes, accept all this evidence from expert researchers published in credible peer-reviewed journals and the learned opinions that fluoridation is harmful to brains and bodies. Now ask yourself, what does it mean if you instead gamble on the dogmatic opinions of those with vested interests and are wrong?
This isn’t as politically muddy as we think. I’m asking Cape Anners to tell city, state and national leadership that we don’t want to gamble with our families health and that as a first step toward reducing the lead levels in our water, we demand a cessation to fluoridation. Despite what anyone says, we have the political power and constitutional right to take immediate action that protects our families from poison in our water.
Karen Favazza Spencer