FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
JAN 20, 1999 / CONTACT: BILL HIRZY 202-260-4683(V) 202-401-3139(F) EMAIL: HIRZY.JOHN@EPA.GOV
SCIENTISTS ACCUSE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UNSCIENTIFIC BEHAVIOR IN PROMOTING FLUORIDE
Four scientists and an attorney today accused the National Academy of Sciences of unscientific behavior by promoting fluoride as a "beneficial element." Citing research on fluoride, some from NAS's own publications, Drs. Albert Burgstahler, University of Kansas, Paul Connett, St. Lawrence University, Lennart Krook, Cornell University, and William Hirzy, National Treasury Employees Union at EPA, and New York attorney Paul Beeber said NAS was engaging in "linguistic de-toxification" of fluoride.
Professor Krook linked fluoride with increased risk of hip fractures in the elderly. He said peer reviewed publications showed weaker bones result from drinking fluoridated water. He also discussed several studies showing fluoride causes bone cancer in animals and humans, studies NAS downplays.
Professor Burgstahler pointed out errors in NAS's publication that purports to establish a safe upper limit of exposure to fluoride and expressed concern over bias among the NAS panelists. Burgstahler said NAS has previously cited 13 studies showing fluoride causes bone toxicity below the doses NAS now says are "tolerable."
Dr. Hirzy said EPA treats fluoride as a "protected pollutant." He gave several examples including EPA's drinking water standard, set at a level known to cause adverse effects on teeth, its reliance on NAS rather than its own staff for advice on fluoride risks, and its firing of the senior drinking water toxicologist for refusing to keep quiet about fluoride's ability to cause cancer. He said the professionals' union voted to support citizens fighting fluoridation after union scientists reviewed recent research on fluoride.
Paul Beeber discussed a new report that shows, after a fifty-year trial, no difference in the dental cavities rates in children in fluoridated Newburgh and un-fluoridated Kingston, NY. The report shows children in Newburgh to have about twice the rate of dental fluorosis, the earliest sign of fluoride toxicity, as children in Kingston.
Professor Connett said, "If we add the new evidence of fluoride's damage to the brain and the pineal gland to its carcinogenicity and its known toxicity to teeth, bones, the reproductive and other systems, and consider the ineffectiveness of fluoride in drinking water in preventing dental cavities, it is insane for NAS to promote fluoride as a beneficial element. Fluoride is a very toxic substance, and the less our children get the better."