May 10, 1999: U.S. Rep.
Calvert asks EPA's Browner to Justify Policy to Promote Fluoride
From:Jeff Green / email@example.com / Director, Citizens
For Safe Drinking Water, / (800)
To: Recipient List Suppressed:; <Recipient List
Date: Tuesday, June 08, 1999 1:18 PM
Subject: E-Copy/Rep. Calvert Req. to EPA Browner
F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, Jr., Wisconsin. Chairman GEORGE E. BROWN,
Ranking Minority Member
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
SUITE 2320 RAYBURN HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING
WASHINGTON, DC 20515-6301
TTY: (202) 226-4410
May 10, 1999
The Honorable Carol M. Browner
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
401 M Street, SW
Washington, DC 20460
Dear Administrator Browner:
The Committee on Science has received a number of letters
recently regarding the potential health risk from fluoride in
drinking water at the current maximum contaminant level (MCL).
According to the enclosed Salon article and other information I
have received, the current MCL may harm human health,
particularly in certain sensitive subpopulations such as the
young, the elderly, diabetics and athletes. In addition, the
article states the Clinton Administration's goal to increase the
percentage of the population receiving fluoridated water from 62%
to 75% by next year.
I would like to request your agency's response to some questions
I have regarding the fluoride:
(1) I understand that EPA does not endorse water fluoridation.
Has the Agency taken any steps to have EPA removed from the list
of endorsers of water fluoridation published by the American
Dental Association? If you have, have they complied?
(2) What chronic toxicity test data are there on sodium
fluorosilicate? On hydrofluorsilicic acid?
(3 ) What steps have you taken to address questions related to
the EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCL[G]) for fluoride in
drinking water? If you have not taken steps to address these
questions, why not? If not, when will you take such steps? When
do you estimate that the work involved in addressing these
questions will be complete?
(4) Do you interpret Section 101(b)(4) of the Safe Drinking Water
Act of 1996 as requiring EPA to set its MCL(G)s at a level that
protects all persons, including sensitive subpopulations, such as
infants, children, people who drink 4 or more liters of water per
day, people with allergies or hypersensitivity to fluoride, and
people with renal disease?
(5) Is the Agency satisfied with fluoride doses delivered to the
public via drinking water under and MCL(G) of 4 milligrams/liter
(mg/l) when added to the fluoride intake from dental products,
pesticide residues, food and beverages will not cause an adverse
(6) What is the margin of safety for infants who consume drinking
water containing 4 mg/l of fluoride?
(7) What is the margin of safety for persons receiving kidney
dialysis treatment, diabetics or those who have a
hypersensitivity or allergy to fluoride who consume drinking
water containing 4 mg/l of fluoride?
(8) Does the incidence of dental fluorosis among at least 22% of
American children indicate that, at least among these children,
an overdosing is occurring?
(9) What steps has the Agency taken to address the hazards
identified with fluoride exposure in the following publications
that appeared since the EPA reaffirmed its drinking water
standards for fluoride? These publications include:
(a) Neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride in rats. Mullenix, P.J., Denbesten, P.K., Schunior, A. and Kernan, W.J., Neurotoxicology and Teratology 17 169-177 (1995).
(b) Influence of chronic fluorosis on membrane lipids in rat brain. Z.Z. Guan, Y.N. Wang, K.Q. Xiao, D.Y. Dai, Y.H. Chen, J.L. Liu, P. Sindelar and G. Dallner, Neurotoxicology and Teratology 20 537-542 (1998).
(c) Chronic administration of aluminum-fluoride or sodium-fluoride to rats in drinking water: alterations in neuronal and cerebrovascular integrity. Varner, J.A., Jensen, K.F., Horvath, W., and Isaacson, R.L. Brain Research 784 284-298 (1998).
(d) Effect of high fluoride water supply on children's intelligence. Zhao, L.B.,Liang, G.H., Wu, X.R. Fluoride 29 190-192 (1996).
(e) Effect of fluoride exposure on intelligence in children. Li. X.S., Zhi, J.L., and Gao, R.O., Fluoride 28 (1995).
(f) Effect of fluoride on the physiology of the pineal gland. Luke, J.A., Caries Research 28 204 (1994).
Please provide the committee with copies of any EPA publications,
studies, reports or memos relating to the fluoride MCL.
I respectfully request your response to our concerns. Thank you
for your attention to this matter.
Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
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