By Bob Tuskin
The EPA recently released a proposal to “phase out fluoride pesticide” which is an “insecticide and fumigant used on stored grain, such as wheat and oats; driedfruit; coffee and cocoa beans; and other foods”.
If EPA’s plan becomes final, many food uses of this fluoride-based pesticide would stop within 90 days.
Although this is a major break through, the EPA has not yet announced any plans for the removal of this dangerous poison from our water supply.
If you are reading this article and still think that fluoride is somehow good for you, perhaps you should take a look at a recent study that shows it can damage the brain.
- “The prolonged ingestion of fluoride may cause significant damage to health and particularly to the nervous system,” concludes a review of studies by researchers Valdez-Jimenez, et al. published in Neurologia (June 2011), reports New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF).
The research team reports, “It is important to be aware of this serious problem and avoid the use of toothpaste and items that contain fluoride, particularly in children as they are more susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride.”
“Fluoride can be toxic by ingesting one part per million (ppm), and the effects are not immediate, as they can take 20 years or more to become evident,” they write.
Most fluoridating U.S. public drinking water suppliers add fluoride chemicals to deliver 1 ppm fluoride (equal to about 1 milligram per quart) intending to benefit teeth and not to purify the water.
“Fluoridation clearly jeopardizes our children and must be stopped,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, NYSCOF. ”We can actually see how fluoride has damaged children’s teeth with dental fluorosis; but we can’t see the harm it’s doing to their brains and other organs. No U.S. researcher is even looking,” says Beeber.
Paul Beeber will be coming on The Bob Tuskin Show Thursday 7/14/11 to talk about the recent EPA proposal.
In a letter from the Environmental Working Group they high lite this possible major step forward
The Environmental Working Group strongly supports EPA’s proposed order. It reflects a growing consensus that the American public is exposed to excessive fluoride. For decades, public health agencies have erroneously reassured the public that fluoride is entirely safe. As a result, generations of children have been exposed to amounts of fluoride that could damage teeth and bones and that emerging science indicates could harm thyroid function and increase risks of bone cancer.
EPA’s 2011 proposal came in response to objections filed by Environmental Working Group, Fluoride Action Network and Beyond Pesticides to the use of sulfuryl fluoride on food. In the same month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed to reduce its recommended maximum level of fluoride in tap water from 1.2 to 0.7 parts per million, a 42 percent decrease.
Sulfuryl fluoride, manufactured by Dow AgroSciences and approved by EPA in 2004 as an alternative to ozone-depleting fumigant methyl bromide, is used for control of pests in food storage and processing facilities. EPA statistics indicate that sulfuryl fluoride is used in approximately 40 percent of such facilities across the country. Once sprayed, sulfuryl fluoride breaks down into fluoride, which can contaminate food. Over-exposure to fluoride from oral ingestion has been associated with multiple adverse health effects, including dental fluorosis (mottling and loss of tooth enamel) and skeletal fluorosis (joint pain, stiffness and bone fractures).
EPA’s original permit to allow sulfuryl fluoride for use on foods relied on an outdated health risk assessment and significantly underestimated children’s exposures to fluoride from all sources. After a new exposure and risk assessment was done, the EPA Office of Pesticide Program concluded that the current legal limit of the pesticide residue on food does not adequately protect children from excessive fluoride exposures. After considering the aggregate exposures to fluoride from all sources, including drinking water and toothpaste, EPA found that sulfuryl fluoride does not meet the children’s health protection requirements set under the Food Quality and Protection Act of 1996, which regulates pesticide safety.
EPA’s decision to stop sulfuryl fluoride use is a step in the right direction, but, as EPA’s recent exposure assessment indicates, sulfuryl fluoride represents just a fraction of Americans’ overall fluoride exposure. Children under the age of 7 are particularly at risk of excessive fluoride exposure. It is of great concern that even if sulfuryl fluoride is eliminated from their diets, many children will still ingest too much fluoride. Further reductions in fluoride exposure are necessaryto protect children’s health more fully.
EWG has provided detailed comments to Health and Human Services about the impact of new water fluoridation guidelines, including shortcomings of EPA’s new risk and exposure assessments for fluoride (copy of the letter is attached). Actions to reduce fluoride ingestion via drinking water and pesticide residues represent a step in the right direction toward protecting Americans from fluoride exposure.
Yet EWG found that a significant body of scientific evidence supports an even more dramatic reduction to protect the health of infants, children and others who are most vulnerable to the surprising array of health problems associated with this common water additive. We urge EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs and Office of Water to join other agencies in committing to reduce substantially human exposures to fluoride from sources other than sulfuryl fluoride.
EPA’s decision to withdraw sulfuryl fluoride tolerances is significant both in regard to the particular pesticide tolerances involved and in the context of reevaluating the health effects of fluoride. It sets an important example for future initiatives to address cumulative exposures to pesticides from multiple sources, a concept that is on the cutting edge of research and policy. EWG strongly supports EPA’s action on sulfuryl fluoride. Yet in order to protect Americans from over-exposure to fluoride, the agency must go further by lowering fluoride content in drinking water.
Sonya Lunder, MPHEWG Senior Analyst
Olga V. Naidenko, PhDEWG Senior Scientist
The EPA has both national and county based representatives. What is needed is a true grassroots effort. It is important that we work in our cities and counties to get it taken out of our water supply.
Many cities around the world have been successful in doing so, and many more are making major headway. I hope this EPA announcement will inspire the total abolition of this nasty poison.