Federal Investigation

USA Senate Hearing(s) Testimony on Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies on June 29, 2000

Fw:  Dr. Hirzy’s statement at Senate hearings.
      Date:  Fri, 30 Jun 2000 10:38:43 -0700



JUNE 29, 2000

“Good morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this Subcommittee to present the views of the
union, of which I am a Vice-President, on the subject of fluoridation of
public  water supplies.

Our union is comprised of and represents the professional employees at the
headquarters location of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in
Washington  D.C. Our members include toxicologists, biologists, chemists,
engineers, lawyers  and others defined by law as “professionals.” The work
we do includes  evaluation of toxicity, exposure and economic information
for managements  use in formulating public health and environmental
protection policy.

I am not here as a representative of EPA, but rather as a representative of
EPA headquarters professional employees, through their duly elected labor
union.  The union first got involved in this issue in 1985 as a matter of
professional  ethics. In 1997 we most recently voted to oppose
fluoridation. Our opposition  has strengthened since then.

Summary of Recommendations

1) We ask that you order an independent review of a cancer bioassay
previously mandated by Congressional committee and subsequently performed
by  Battelle Memorial Institute with appropriate blinding and instructions
that all  reviewers independent determinations be reported to this

2) We ask that you order that the two waste products of the fertilizer
industry that are now used in 90% of fluoridation programs, for which EPA
states  they are not able to identify any chronic studies, be used in any
future  toxicity studies, rather than a substitute chemical. Further, since
federal  agencies are actively advocating that each man woman and child
drink, eat and  bathe in these chemicals, silicofluorides should be placed
at the head of the  list for establishing a MCL that complies with the Safe
Drinking Water Act. This  means that the MCL be protective of the most
sensitive of our population,  including infants, with an appropriate margin
of safety for ingestion over an  entire lifetime.

3) We ask that you order an epidemiology study comparing children with
dental  fluorosis to those not displaying overdose during growth and
development years  for behavioral and other disorders.

4) We ask that you convene a joint Congressional Committee to give the only
substance that is being mandated for ingestion throughout this country the
full  hearing that it deserves.

National Review of Fluoridation The Subcommittees hearing  today can only
begin to get at the issues surrounding the policy of water  fluoridation in
the United States, a massive experiment that has been run on the  American
public, without informed consent, for over fifty years. The last
Congressional hearings on this subject were held in 1977. Much knowledge
has  been gained in the intervening years. It is high time for a national
review of  this policy by a Joint Select Committee of Congress. New
hearings should  explore, at minimum, these points:

1) excessive and un-controlled fluoride exposures;

2) altered findings of a cancer bioassay;

3) the results and implications of recent brain effects research;

4) the “protected pollutant” status of fluoride within EPA;

5) the altered recommendations to EPA of a 1983 Surgeon Generals Panel  on

6) the results of a fifty-year experiment on fluoridation in two New York

7) the findings of fact in three landmark lawsuits since 1978;

8) the findings and implications of recent research linking the predominant
fluoridation chemical with elevated blood-lead levels in children and
anti-social behavior; and

9) changing views among dental researchers on the efficacy of water

Fluoride Exposures Are Excessive and Un-controlled According to a  study by
the National Institute of Dental Research, 66 percent of  Americas children
in fluoridated communities show the visible sign of  over-exposure and
fluoride toxicity, dental fluorosis (1). That result is from a  survey done
in the mid-1980’s and the figure today is undoubtedly much  higher.

Centers for Disease Control and EPA claim that dental fluorosis is only a
“cosmetic” effect. God did not create humans with fluorosed teeth.  That
effect occurs when children ingest more fluoride than their bodies can
handle with the metabolic processes we were born with, and their teeth are
damaged as a result. And not only their teeth. Children’s bones and other
tissues, as well as their developing teeth are accumulating too much
fluoride.  We can see the effect on teeth. Few researchers, if any, are
looking for  the effects of excessive fluoride exposure on bone and other
tissues in American  children. What has been reported so far in this
connection is disturbing. One  example is epidemiological evidence (2a, 2b)
showing elevated bone cancer in  young men related to consumption of
fluoridated drinking water.

Without trying to ascribe a cause and effect relationship beforehand, we do
know that American children in large numbers are afflicted with
hyperactivity-attention deficit disorder, that autism seems to be on the
rise,  that bone fractures in young athletes and military personnel are on
the rise,  that earlier onset of puberty in young women is occurring. There
are  biologically plausible mechanisms described in peer-reviewed research
on  fluoride that can link some of these effects to fluoride exposures
(e.g.  3,4,5,6). Considering the economic and human costs of these
conditions, we  believe that Congress should order epidemiology studies
that use dental  fluorosis as an index of exposure to determine if there
are links between such  effects and fluoride over-exposure.

In the interim, while this epidemiology is conducted, we believe that a
national moratorium on water fluoridation should be instituted. There will
be a  hue and cry from some quarters, predicting increased dental caries,
but Europe  has about the same rate of dental caries as the U.S. (7) and
most European  countries do not fluoridate (8). I am submitting letters
from European and Asian  authorities on this point. There are studies in
the U.S. of localities that have  interrupted fluoridation with no
discernable increase in dental caries rates  (e.g., 9). And people who want
the freedom of choice to continue to ingest  fluoride can do so by other

Cancer Bioassay Findings In 1990, the results of the National  Toxicology
Program cancer bioassay on sodium fluoride were published (10), the
initial findings of which would have ended fluoridation. But a special
commission was hastily convened to review the findings, resulting in the
salvation of fluoridation through systematic down-grading of the evidence
of  carcinogenicity. The final, published version of the NTP report says
that there  is, “equivocal evidence of carcinogenicity in male rats,”
changed from  “clear evidence of carcinogenicity in male rats.”

The change prompted Dr. William Marcus, who was then Senior Science Adviser
and Toxicologist in the Office of Drinking Water, to blow the whistle about
the  issue (22), which led to his firing by EPA. Dr. Marcus sued EPA, won
his case  and was reinstated with back pay, benefits and compensatory
damages. I am  submitting material from Dr. Marcus to the Subcommittee
dealing with the cancer  and neurotoxicity risks posed by fluoridation.

We believe the Subcommittee should call for an independent review of the
tumor slides from the bioassay, as was called for by Dr. Marcus (22), with
the  results to be presented in a hearing before a Select Committee of the
Congress.  The scientists who conducted the original study, the original
reviewers of the  study, and the “review commission” members should be
called, and an  explanation given for the changed findings.

Brain Effects Research Since 1994 there have been six publications  that
link fluoride exposure to direct adverse effects on the brain. Two
epidemiology studies from China indicate depression of I.Q. in children
(11,12).  Another paper (3) shows a link between prenatal exposure of
animals to fluoride  and subsequent birth of off-spring which are
hyperactive throughout life. A 1998  paper shows brain and kidney damage in
animals given the “optimal”  dosage of fluoride, viz. one part per million
(13). And another (14) shows  decreased levels of a key substance in the
brain that may explain the results in  the other paper from that journal.
Another publication (5) links fluoride dosing  to adverse effects on the
brains pineal gland and pre-mature onset of  sexual maturity in animals.
Earlier onset of menstruation of girls in  fluoridated Newburg, New York
has also been reported (6).

Given the national concern over incidence of attention
deficit-hyperactivity  disorder and autism in our children, we believe that
the authors of these  studies should be called before a Select Committee,
along with those who have  critiqued their studies, so the American public
and the Congress can understand  the implications of this work.

Fluoride as a Protected Pollutant The classic example of EPAs  protective
treatment of this substance, recognized the world over and in the  U.S.
before the linguistic de-toxification campaign of the 1940’s and 1950’s as
a major environmental pollutant, is the 1983 statement by EPAs then  Deputy
Assistant Administrator for Water, Rebecca Hanmer (15), that EPA views  the
use of hydrofluosilicic acid recovered from the waste stream of phosphate
fertilizer manufacture as,

“…an ideal solution to a long standing problem. By recovering  by-product
fluosilicic acid (sic) from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air
pollution are minimized, and water authorities have a low-cost source of

In other words, the solution to pollution is dilution, as long as the
pollutant is dumped straight into drinking water systems and not into
rivers or  the atmosphere. I am submitting a copy of her letter.

Other Federal entities are also protective of fluoride. Congressman Calvert
of the House Science Committee has sent letters of inquiry to EPA and other
Federal entities on the matter of fluoride, answers to which have not yet
been  received.

We believe that EPA and other Federal officials should be called to testify
on the manner in which fluoride has been protected. The union will be happy
to  assist the Congress in identifying targets for an inquiry. For
instance,  hydrofluosilicic acid does not appear on the Toxic Release
Inventory list of  chemicals, and there is a remarkable discrepancy among
the Maximum Contaminant  Levels for fluoride, arsenic and lead, given the
relative toxicities of these  substances.

Surgeon Generals Panel on Fluoride We believe that EPA staff  and managers
should be called to testify, along with members of the 1983 Surgeon
Generals panel and officials of the Department of Human Services, to
explain how the original recommendations of the Surgeon Generals panel
(16) were altered to allow EPA to set otherwise unjustifiable drinking
water  standards for fluoride.

Kingston and Newburg, New York Results In 1998, the results of a
fifty-year fluoridation experiment involving Kingston, New York
(un-fluoridated)  and Newburg, New York (fluoridated) were published (17).
In summary, there is no  overall significant difference in rates of dental
decay in children in the two  cities, but children in the fluoridated city
show significantly higher rates of  dental fluorosis than children in the
un-fluoridated city.

We believe that the authors of this study and representatives of the
Centers  For Disease Control and EPA should be called before a Select
Committee to  explain the increase in dental fluorosis among American
children and the  implications of that increase for skeletal and other
effects as the children  mature, including bone cancer, stress fractures
and arthritis.

Findings of Fact by Judges In three landmark cases adjudicated since  1978
in Pennsylvania, Illinois and Texas (18), judges with no interest except
finding fact and administering justice heard prolonged testimony from
proponents  and opponents of fluoridation and made dispassionate findings
of fact. I cite  one such instance here.

In November, 1978, Judge John Flaherty, now Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court of Pennsylvania, issued findings in the case, Aitkenhead v. Borough
of  West View, tried before him in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas.
Testimony in the case filled 2800 transcript pages and fully elucidated the
benefits and risks of water fluoridation as understood in 1978. Judge
Flaherty  issued an injunction against fluoridation in the case, but the
injunction was  overturned on jurisdictional grounds. His findings of fact
were not  disturbed by appellate action. Judge Flaherty, in a July, 1979
letter to the  Mayor of Aukland New Zealand wrote the following about the

“In my view, the evidence is quite convincing that the addition of  sodium
fluoride to the public water supply at one part per million is extremely
deleterious to the human body, and, a review of the evidence will disclose
that  there was no convincing evidence to the contrary…

“Prior to hearing this case, I gave the matter of fluoridation little,  if
any, thought, but I received quite an education, and noted that the
proponents of fluoridation do nothing more than try to impune (sic) the
objectivity of those who oppose fluoridation.”

In the Illinois decision, Judge Ronald Niemann concludes: “This record  is
barren of any credible and reputable scientific epidemiological studies and
or analysis of statistical data which would support the Illinois
Legislatures determination that fluoridation of the water supplies is  both
a safe and effective means of promoting public health.”

Judge Anthony Farris in Texas found: “[That] the artificial fluoridation
of public water supplies, such as contemplated by {Houston} City ordinance
No.  80-2530 may cause or contribute to the cause of cancer, genetic
damage,  intolerant reactions, and chronic toxicity, including dental
mottling, in man;  that the said artificial fluoridation may aggravate
malnutrition and existing  illness in man; and that the value of said
artificial fluoridation is in some  doubt as to reduction of tooth decay in

The significance of Judge Flahertys statement and his and the other  two
judges findings of fact is this: proponents of fluoridation are fond  of
reciting endorsement statements by authorities, such as those by CDC and
the  American Dental Association, both of which have long-standing
commitments that  are hard if not impossible to recant, on the safety and
efficacy of  fluoridation. Now come three truly independent servants of
justice, the judges  in these three cases, and they find that fluoridation
of water supplies is not  justified.

Proponents of fluoridation are absolutely right about one thing: there is
no real controversy about fluoridation when the facts are heard by an open

I am submitting a copy of the excerpted letter from Judge Flaherty and
another letter referenced in it that was sent to Judge Flaherty by Dr.
Peter  Sammartino, then Chancellor of Fairleigh Dickenson University. I am
also  submitting a reprint copy of an article in the Spring 1999 issue of
the Florida  State University Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law by
Jack Graham  and Dr. Pierre Morin, titled “Highlights in North American
Litigation  During the Twentieth Century on Artificial Fluoridation of
Public Water. Mr.  Graham was chief litigator in the case before Judge
Flaherty and in the other  two cases (in Illinois and Texas).

We believe that Mr. Graham should be called before a Select Committee along
with, if appropriate, the judges in these three cases who could relate
their  experience as trial judges in these cases.

Hydrofluosilicic Acid There are no chronic toxicity data on the
predominant chemical, hydrofluosilicic acid and its sodium salt, used to
fluoridate American communities. Newly published studies (19) indicate a
link  between use of these chemicals and elevated level of lead in
children’s  blood and anti-social behavior. Material from the authors of
these studies has  been submitted by them independently.

We believe the authors of these papers and their critics should be called
before a Select Committee to explain to you and the American people what
these  papers mean for continuation of the policy of fluoridation.

Changing Views on Efficacy and Risk In recent years, two prominent  dental
researchers who were leaders of the pro-fluoridation movement announced
reversals of their former positions because they concluded that water
fluoridation is not an effective means of reducing dental caries and that
it  poses serious risks to human health. The late Dr. John Colquhoun was
Principal  Dental Officer of Aukland, New Zealand, and he published his
reasons for  changing sides in 1997 (20). In 1999, Dr. Hardy Limeback, Head
of Preventive  Dentistry, University of Toronto, announced his change of
views, then published  a statement (21) dated April 2000. I am submitting a
copy of Dr.  Limebacks publications.

We believe that Dr. Limeback, along with fluoridation proponents who have
not  changed their minds, such as Drs. Ernest Newbrun and Herschel
Horowitz, should  be called before a Select Committee to testify on the
reasons for their  respective positions.

Thank you for you consideration, and I will be happy to take questions.


1.Dental caries and dental fluorosis at varying water fluoride
concentrations. Heller, K.E, Eklund, S.A. and Burt, B.A. J. Pub. Health
Dent.  57 136-43 (1997).

2a. A brief report on the association of drinking water fluoridation and
the  incidence of osteosarcoma among young males. Cohn, P.D. New Jersey
Department  of Health (1992).

2b. Time trends for bone and joint cancers and osteosarcomas in the
Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. National Cancer
Institute. In: Review of fluoride: benefits and risks. Department of
Health and Human Services.1991: F1-F7.

3.Neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride in rats. Mullenix, P.J., Denbesten,
P.K.,  Schunior, A. and Kernan, W.J. Neurotoxicol. Teratol. 17 169-177

4a. Fluoride and bone – quantity versus quality [editorial]  N. Engl. J.
Med. 322 845-6 (1990)

4b. Summary of workshop on drinking water fluoride influence  on hip
fracture and bone health. Gordon, S.L. and Corbin, S.B. Natl. Inst.
Health. April 10, 1991.

5. Effect of fluoride on the physiology of the pineal gland. Luke, J.A.
aries Research 28 204 (1994).

6. Newburgh-Kingston caries-fluorine study XIII. Pediatric findings after
ten  years. Schlesinger, E.R., Overton, D.E., Chase, H.C., and Cantwell,
K.T.  JADA 52 296-306 (1956).

7. WHO oral health country/area profile programme.  Department of
Non-Communicable Diseases Surveillance/Oral Health. WHO  Collaborating
Centre, Malmö University, Sweden. URL:

8. Letters from government authorities in response to  inquiries on
fluoridation status by E. Albright. Eugene Albright: contact  through J. W.
Hirzy, P.O. Box 76082, Washington, D.C. 20013.

9. The effects of a break in water fluoridation on the  development of
dental caries and fluorosis. Burt B.A., Keels ., Heller KE. J.  Dent. Res.
2000 Feb;79(2):761-9.

10. Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of sodium fluoride in F344/N rats
and B6C3F1  mice. NTP Report No. 393 (1991).

11. Effect of high fluoride water supply on childrens intelligence.  Zhao,
L.B., Liang, G.H., Zhang, D.N., and Wu, X.R. Fluoride 29  190-192 (1996)

12. Effect of fluoride exposure on intelligence in children. Li, X.S., Zhi,
J.L., and Gao, R.O. Fluoride 28 (1995).

13. 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).

14. 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).

15. Letter from Rebecca Hanmer, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water,
to  Leslie Russell re: EPA view on use of by-product fluosilicic (sic) acid
as low  cost source of fluoride to water authorities. March 30, 1983.

16.Transcript of proceedings – Surgeon Generals (Koop) ad hoc  committee on
non-dental effects of fluoride. April 18-19, 1983. National  Institutes of
Health. Bethesda, MD.

17. Recommendations for fluoride use in children. Kumar, J.V. and Green,
E.L.  New York State Dent. J. (1998) 40-47.

18. Highlights in North American litigation during the twentieth century on
artificial fluoridation of public water supplies. Graham, J.R. and Morin,
P.  Journal of Land Use and Environmental Law  14 195-248 (Spring 1999)
Florida State University College of  Law.

19. Water treatment with silicofluorides and lead toxicity. Masters, R.D.
and  Coplan, M.J. Intern. J. Environ. Studies 56 435-49 (1999).

20. Why I changed my mind about water fluoridation. Colquhoun, J.
Perspectives in Biol. And Medicine 41 1-16 (1997).

21. Letter. Limeback, H. April 2000. Faculty of Dentistry, University of

22.. Memorandum: Subject: Fluoride Conference to Review the NTP Draft
Fluoride Report; From: Wm. L. Marcus, Senior Science Advisor ODW;  To: Alan
B. Hais, Acting Director Criteria & Standards Division  Office of Drinking
Water. May 1, 1990.”