Historically, fluoride been added to water in the name of preventing tooth decay and cavities. However, it is now widely known that fluoride is not an essential nutrient in any sense, and therefore is not actually necessary to keep teeth healthy.
While proponents of fluoride continue to say that it is "safe and effective," detractors of fluoride say that there are several substantial issues with the substance's addition to public water. And finally enough people have woken up to the dangers of fluoride to begin putting pressure on the EPA to put a halt to this controversial practice.
A coalition of environmental, medical, and health groups, along with Fluoride Action Network, are urging the EPA to end fluoridation of the public water supply. The coalition has presented the EPA with a petition, featuring some 2,500 pages of scientific documentation of fluoride's ill effects on human health.
The document explains that "the amount of fluoride now regularly consumed by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas exceeds the doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects; with certain subpopulations standing at elevated risk of harm, including infants, young children, elderly populations, and those with dietary deficiencies, renal impairment and/or genetic predispositions.”
Beyond the negative health effects of fluoride, there is also a rather concerning, almost "Big Brother-esque" feel to public water fluoridation. The concept of the government practicing mass medication on the majority of the U.S. population is quite frightening, if you stop to think about. There is no way to obtain consent from every individual when it's in the water supply and often, no way of escaping it. Furthermore, putting fluoride in the water prevents controlled dosage. Some people drink more than others, and there are plenty of other avenues of exposure besides water.
The EPA could put an end to mass fluoridation of the U.S. population, through the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which grants them the ability to forbid the use of a chemical that puts public health at risk. Fluoride certainly fits the bill -- the petition notes that the EPA's own guidelines would encourage fluoride prohibition.
Collective Evolution explains that the petition states the EPA's Guidelines for Neurotoxicity Risk Assessment reveals that fluoride can be neurotoxic, and that the "reference dose" needed to offer protection from such neurotoxicity is “incompatible with the doses now ingested by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas.”
The petition also notes that swallowing fluoride actually provides little to no benefits to humans, rendering the risk associated with fluoride consumption completely and entirely unnecessary. The petition also states "there is little justification in exposing the public to any risk of fluoride neurotoxicity, particularly via a source as essential to human sustenance as the public drinking water and the many processed foods and beverages made therefrom." (RELATED: Learn how to protect yourself from Fluoride poisoning)
The EPA has reportedly requested that the National Resource Council (NRC) review the data. Back in 2006, the NRC concluded that fluoride can indeed inhibit brain function. Research published in the journal Lancet Neurology has even confirmed that fluoride is one of 12 substances known to cause developmental neurotoxicity. And in 2012, Harvard scientists concluded that children exposed to fluoridated drinking water had lower IQs.
Another pitfall of water fluoridation is the development of dental fluorosis. Mild fluorosis is characterized by white streaks on the teeth, while more severe cases feature brown stains, pitting, and broken enamel. This is the stuff they are putting in the water supposedly to protect teeth -- and yet, it actually destroys them. The CDC reported in 2010 that 41 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 15 had some form of dental fluorosis. That alone should be enough to tell you (and the EPA) that fluoride doesn't belong in the water supply.
Will the EPA finally be compelled to do their jobs and ban water fluoridation? Who knows.