Fluoride Problems Result in Lower Government Recommendations for Drinking Water For the first time in 50 years, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Friday, January 7, 2011 in a news release, a proposed reduction in the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water they consider for good dental health.
HHS' recommends that the current fluoride range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter of water be lowered to 0.7 milligrams per liter. The lowered range was recommended to balance the adverse health effects of fluoride such as dental fluorosis. An increase in dental fluorosis-tooth enamel loss, pitting, and streaking is one of the major adverse health effects of fluoride as reported by the National Academies of Science (NAS) "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPS's Standards (2006)".
The EPA and HHS reviewed the findings by the NAS which recommended the update in fluoride exposure. According to a January 7, 2011 CNN.com article, the change is being made now because the current range is out of date. The article noted that the present recommended level of fluoride in drinking water has not been changed for 50 years.
Fluoride is now ingested in many products including toothpaste, mouthwash, bottled water as well as from fluoride-containing rocks and soil which enter the water system through runoff. According to the NAS report on fluoridation, fifty percent or more of fluoride exposure is reported to be fluoridated water, beverages, and foods prepared or manufactured with fluoridated water.
According to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) article published on Jan. 7, 2011, over-exposure to fluoride can be toxic. Dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis (joint pain, stiffness and bone fractures) along with a possible link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), neurotoxicity and disruption of thyroid function has been reported by the EWG, a nonprofit research organization.
EWG's senior vice president for research, Jane Houlihan stated that the EWG has been calling on federal agencies to respond to findings by the NAS and other studies which document that excess fluoride exposure poses dangers. She reports in the article that the public should take care when it comes to exposure to industrial chemicals, and that what is considered safe today won't be considered safe tomorrow.