In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the sole agency with regulatory responsibility for fluoride in drinking water. Based on toxicological reviews, EPA scientists establish the Maximum Containment Level, as well as non-enforceable guidelines for levels of fluoride deemed to be safe for human consumption.

The EPA does not endorse water fluoridation. While the agency has officially maintained a neutral position, its employees – scientists, engineers, lawyers and other personnel – have, through their professional unions, expressed profound concern and called for a moratorium on fluoridation since as early as 1997. Now, a total of eleven EPA unions, representing over 7000 EPA scientists and professionals, are demanding an end to fluoridation.

June 29, 2000: Dr. J. William Hirzy, Senior Vice President of EPA Washington
Headquarters Union (NTEU 280), testifies before Senate.

1999 – EPA Washington Headquarters (NTEU 280) – Position Paper

“Recent, peer-reviewed toxicity data, when applied to EPA’s standard method for controlling risks from toxic chemicals, require an immediate halt to the use of the nation’s drinking water reservoirs as disposal sites for the toxic waste of the phosphate fertilizer industry.”

2003 – EPA Statement of Concern

“Contrary to assertions that the health effects of fluoride ingestion already have been scientifically proven to be safe and that there is no credible scientific concern, over the last fifteen years the ingestion of fluoride has been linked in scientific peer-reviewed literature to neurotoxicity, bone pathology, reproductive effects, interference with the pineal gland, gene mutations, thyroid pathology, and the increasing incidence and severity of dental fluorosis.”

2005 – Letter from Coalition of EPA Unions to U.S. Congress

“We ask that the moratorium take effect immediately and remain in place until a full hearing by the Congress on the wisdom of continuing the practice is concluded.”

2005 – Letter from Coalition of EPA Unions to EPA Administrator

“We, the undersigned representatives of a majority (eleven) of  EPA’s employee unions, are requesting that you direct the Office of Water to issue an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting the maximum contaminant level goal for fluoride at zero, in accordance with Agency policy for all likely or known human carcinogens.”

Who do we trust?

The EPA is charged with protecting the population from harmful exposure to chemicals in the environment. Its employees are toxicologists, biologists, environmental chemists, and risk analysts, whose training and expertise are devoted to studying the health risks posed by chemicals, including fluoride. In contrast, the CDC’s Oral Health Division, the body primarily responsible for the on-going promotion of water fluoridation, largely consists of people with backgrounds in dentistry. No toxicologist or risk assessment specialist serves in the group, and toxicologists working in other CDC divisions do not oversee the fluoridation policy.

Thus, when the CDC claims that fluoridation is “safe and effective” and EPA scientists strongly disagree, it is not difficult to determine whose view carries more weight.