Apr 23, 2001

EPA Scientists to Testify for Fluoride Product Quality Control Act

Expert witnesses are in Sacramento to testify on April 24 before the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee in support of the California Fluoride Product Quality Control Act – AB1565.

J. William Hirzy, Ph.D. will be testifying on behalf of the union that consists of and represents all of the toxicologists, biologists, chemists, physicians and other scientists and professionals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Evidence from the Congressional investigation by the U.S. House Committee on Science in 1999 and 2000 reveals that no government agency has performed a risk analysis on the specific fluoride-releasing compounds that are used in 90 percent of the nation's fluoridation programs. Dr. Hirzy is expected to cite this evidence as he points out that no fluoride product – including fluoride drops, tablets, and vitamins intended for ingestion for the purpose of controlling tooth decay – has ever been approved for safety and effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Myron Coplan, co-author of two studies published in 1999 and December 2000 that evaluated lead levels in the blood of 280,000 children in Massachusetts and 151,000 children in New York will also provide testimony.

Coplan, a registered Professional Chemical Engineer, and co-author, Roger Masters, Ph.D., head of the Dartmouth Foundation for Neuroscience and Society, were provided a grant from EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training and by the Earhart Foundation, which integrates scientific discoveries in neuroscience, environmental chemistry, and human behavior.

The Masters and Coplan studies showed a doubling of the incidence of the danger level of 10 micrograms per deciliter of lead in children's blood when silicofluoride and hydrofluosilicic acid (fluoride-releasing compounds) from the phosphate fertilizer industry are present in the public drinking water, compared to sodium fluoride or no fluoride additives.

If enacted, AB1565 will require that the Department of Health Services certify only those specific fluoride-releasing compounds intended for addition to the public water supply for which a risk assessment by a government agency has been performed, and an evaluation of effectiveness for health claims has been approved by the FDA. And it will require assurances that the compound will contain no contaminants that exceed the Public Health Goals for those contaminants.