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Community Media Drills Down Into the Portland Fluoride Issue

The public Access program, "A Growing Concern" this week will feature a discussion about the Portland City Council proposal to override the will of the people and add fluoride to our pure Bull Run water.
This has been turned down by voters three times in the past. Whether or not fluoride lessens tooth decay is not the issue here; the issue is choice; the issue is democracy!
Featured will be Scott Fernandez, local microbiologist; also in the studios will be a member of the Fluoride Action Network.

Additionally, I will be playing clips from several interviews taken during the protest at City Hall on August 21st. There is much to learn about this issue, and these folks have done their homework!

Friday August 24th, 2012; live from 7 - 8:00 on channel 11.

homepage: homepage: http://www.fluoridealert.org/videos/aspx

corrected link 24.Aug.2012 17:27



Protect Portland 's Water Supply 04.Sep.2012 11:35


 link to www.change.org

To all concerned about Portland's safe drinking water:

Thank you for signing my petition via Change.org. I will be sending a few messages over the upcoming days to assist in sharing information, and in effort to keep you each informed of the upcoming city council meetings, protests, and current news relevant to this topic.

Please feel encouraged to read through these details, there is a lot of information and data to understand and share. In focusing people's attention to this issue, and providing data references, there are many important considerations in how one communicates. In the past my primary concern and communication has centered around the source of fluoride, total exposure to fluoride, and the evidence that supports fluoride as a post-eruptive benefit not a systemic benefit. With the assistance of a prior Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water (OCSDW) Executive Director, Lynne Campbell, I have included references for your review.

I do recognize that writing some separate 15 talking points, is... well... . a bit much. However, it is my hope that with this you will have accessible references and the ability to choose the points that most concern you regarding the topic of water fluoridation in Portland.

Please do take action:

It is imperative that e-mails be sent to the Commissioners and the Mayor. (E-mail addresses are provided below for your convenience).

Call their office, leave messages, and if at all possible come and testify to the council this Thursday September 6th. Sign up sheets will be placed outside at 12:00, with testimony beginning at 1:00pm. Those invited as guest speakers in support of fluoridation will start. Those in opposition will be speaking intermittently with those in favor beginning around 1:45 or 2:00pm. They expect a crowd, and each testimony is to be only 2 minutes long. The council meeting will adjourn by 7:00pm. They do not expect everyone to get an opportunity to speak, so come early to get in line if you feel strongly about this issue. I plan to be there by 10am or so. In addition, if you cannot attend in person, you can forward your written testimony to the council by 9/11/12 to be considered prior to the council voting on 9/12/12 on this ordinance.

Most Importantly:

With your correspondence please include Clerk Council, Karla Moore-Love with a cc. She has informed me on two occasions that comments, e-mails, testimony etc. are not a part of guaranteed public record without her directly receiving a copy. Her e-mail is  karla.moore-love@portlandoregon.gov.
First and foremost:
According to an Oregon Live article posted 8/31,

Commissioner Leonard is on record as "requesting that the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) complete compliance of his proposed ordinance (not yet voted on) for adding fluoride to Portland's water two months before the November 2014 election period." (See  http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/fluoridation/index.html)

Note, this timing is important, as those opposing water fluoridation in Portland have suggested that if the council votes for fluoridation, they will gather 30,000 signatures to place the issue of whether to fluoridate or not fluoridate on the first available ballot... .. in 2014.

This indicates, to me, a few issues. First and most importantly Commissioner Leonard, and the city council, if they vote in agreement on 9/12/12 will be by-passing our consent, and our right as citizens to fully participate in this decision.

Whether you support water fluoridation or do not, I feel we can all agree that we value our democracy and right to choose. The suggested time to implement such a program was five years, and a quickened process was estimated at three years. Such a suggestion per Commissioner Leonard to speed up the implementation to approximately two years indicates awareness that we the citizens of Portland do not support such a program due to growing scientific concerns of community health risks.

Commissioner Leonard and other council members, if they approve this ordinance, are bypassing our right to consent.

In communicating with a friend recently she eloquently shared the following words with me. I believe they hold true for many of us.

"Why are we as neighbors, at best, placed in a situation where we are voting on medication for our neighbors? Would we tolerate forcing others to ingest any other drug? For me, it is entirely inappropriate, if a slight bit better. then having it forced on us by our city commissioners and mayor especially when the drug is contaminated with arsenic and lead and lacks FDA approval."

Please write the city council members and let them know you strongly oppose a city ordinance for water fluoridation, and to do so without a public vote is not negotiable. That Commissioner Leonard's proposal to complete such implementation of a program through the Portland Water Bureau before November 2014 is unacceptable, against public consent, and against our basic democratic rights.

INformation to Share:

1. Please get all the facts before rendering a decision.
We the citizens of Portland are informed and educated around this topic. We have observed a disconnect between promoters' characterization of water fluoridation and what extensive research into the issue—including review of medical/dental journals and various USPHS and other government documents—show. We have voted down fluoridation repeatedly. We expect our legislators and Portland Commissioners to take the time to review the issue, weigh the evidence, and make an informed decision to, at the very least send the issue to voters. We believe there is a need for a less biased, more complete picture of what fluoridating drinking water actually means.

2. Dental Health is important, but systemic fluoridation is not the answer to a topical need.
City Council should know we care about the under insured and their dental health. That we support Portland's desire to assist those in need through outreach programs that include education, nutrition, oral hygiene, and free dental clinics for those most in need. These dental clinics could also provide "topical dose specific" fluoride targeting the community in need, more specifically.

Note the CDC states definitively that "fluoride's predominant effect is posteruptive and topical..." (1) Stated another way, the benefit is not from swallowing the fluoride, but applying it directly to the tooth.

City Council, health care organizations, and our health care providers that endorse fluoridation, can develop outreach programs for communities at risk. The cost to implement such a systemic water fluoridation program could be more cost effective if targeted at populations and communities at risk as well as providing age appropriate and dose appropriate topical care.

Ask yourself does it make sense to have a "one dose fit all" approach, for an entire city population? What about consideration for those at risk due to high exposure of fluoride in bottled beverages and other foods such as those contaminated with fluoride-based pesticides?

3. The source of fluoride is a critical component of the system.
Serving the under insured should not have to occur through systemic water fluoridation programs using hydrofluorosilicic acid also called fluosilic acid.

Many of those in support of water fluoridation are not aware of the source of fluoride used in these programs. Supporters also will characterize those of us concerned about this topic, as environmentalists without awareness of science or as extremist in perspective.

Ask yourself, is it extreme to be concerned with NSF, International, the private organization involved with fluoridation product certification to "voluntary" standards confirms, through its own testing, co-contamination of lead and arsenic in the product? (See reference below).

4. Not all fluoride is alike
Most typically, promoters describe fluoridation as follows: "Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in water. Water fluoridation is simply the upward adjustment of fluoride to an optimal level for reducing tooth decay. It is both safe and effective."

City Council should be aware:

That although fluoride "occurs naturally" in water as does arsenic, like arsenic, it is toxic and subject to regulation by EPA as a "contaminant." (2) EPA's regulatory authority over fluoride is as a contaminant only; in its own words, EPA has no authority over water additives, including chemicals used for fluoridation. (3)

That promoters' proposed "adjustment" of fluoride to an "optimal" level will be accomplished, not with naturally occurring calcium or magnesium fluoride, but with the considerably more toxic, untreated, fluoride-rich waste products of the phosphate fertilizer industry. (4) (Many professionals question how an "optimal" concentration can deliver an "optimal" dose to each and every individual considering dramatic variances in our exposure to fluoride from other sources and the amount of water we each consume.)

That these "products," namely hydrofluorosilicic acid and its salt forms, sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride, are classified as hazardous wastes (5) and cannot legally be disposed of in the air, rivers, lakes, ocean, or on land, but by marketing them as "products" for a "health benefit," they are being diluted into public water systems (saving industry expensive disposal at a Class 1 hazardous waste facility).

That, according to the American Water Works Association, people ingest less than 1 percent of treated water, meaning most of this toxic waste ends up in the very environment industry is prohibited from polluting directly.

That hydrofluorosilicic acid is so corrosive, and will so lower the pH of our water, that buffering chemicals will need to be added to water along with the fluoride.

That responding to Congressional inquiry (12/21/2000), FDA has confirmed that, when ingested for prevention/mitigation of tooth decay, fluoride is not just some mineral, but a drug under FDA regulation, one it has never reviewed or approved for that purpose. (6) In other words, the so called "health benefit" providing the loophole that allows the fertilizer industry to dispose of its toxic waste in drinking water has never been confirmed by the only agency given by Congress the authority to do so—FDA. (7) confirmed a host of contaminants in the product (after dilution in water), showing as much as 1.66 parts per billion arsenic. Product, NSF says, is not tested per batch, but just once per year. (8)

5. There is no known safe dosage
We are concerned about the source of fluoridation being proposed for Portland's water fluoridation program. One should recognize the growing body of scientific evidence questioning the practice of adding fluoride in the forms of silicofluoride and fluosilic acid to water programs. Please note that prior recommended dosage from the U.S. EPA ranged from 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (ppm). This was recently downgraded to a maximum of 0.7 ppm due to growing concerns of risks to communities including the risk of dental fluorosis.

6. The source proposed has never been approved by the FDA for systemic use.
We are aware that hydrofluorosilicic acid is a liquid most likely sourced from Solvay, per David Shaff's office of the Portland Water Bureau. Solvay is a major agrochemical producer. The compound is a result of extensive phosphate fertilizer production, and combined with sodium fluorosilicate make up 90% of our nation's systemic water fluoridation programs. Hydrofluorosilicic acid has never been scientifically proven to prevent tooth decay, nor has it been approved by the FDA for systemic use.

7. Topical application is not the same as systemic application
Even those that are in support of fluoridation programs are in support of topical application, not systemic. The literature from the American Dental Association's own journals are clear that application is most successful topically and not systemically.

Although no randomized, controlled studies have ever been done on fluoridation (which would help to prove its safe use), the largest ever survey conducted to date, done by the National Institute of Dental Research in 1986-7 (over 39,000 children in 84 geographical areas), found only a tiny difference in tooth decay between the always- and never-fluoridated groups of children (less than one out of approximately 120 tooth surfaces saved), but a significant difference in the incidence of dental fluorosis, permanent damage to teeth from overexposure to fluoride during tooth development. Of the "optimally" fluoridated group, 29.9 percent had fluorosis compared to 13.5 percent in the non-fluoridated children. (9)

8. International recommendations are against systemic application
We are aware the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology does not endorse water fluoridation programs due to fluorides ability systemically to inhibit enzymes and interfere with collagen health. (10)

Credible, recent, peer-reviewed science raises legitimate questions over adverse health effects, even at the so-called "optimal" level, with a focus on bone pathology (including osteosarcoma and increased hip fracture in the elderly), kidney, thyroid, and brain damage. As much as promoters want to dismiss concerns, the science is by no means settled and trends toward more concerns, not fewer.

For complete references and more information regarding systemic fluoridation and health risk visit the Fluoride Action Network, www.fluoridealert.gov. (11)

9. Other developed Countries have found better more cost effective solutions.
Other developed counties such as those in Europe, do not have water system fluoridation programs due to growing concern of systemic illness and lack of cost effectiveness. Some provide, for those who desire fluoride in systemic form, table salt with fluoride additive, thereby supporting their citizen's right to choice and informed consent while keeping costs at a minimum.

10. New concerns continue to appear.
We are aware that there is a just published, Harvard meta-analysis showing reduced IQ due to systemic water fluoridation programs and total fluoride exposure. (12) Below is a summary of some of the study findings forwarded from a colleague.

"Several of the studies had a "low F" group with around 0.5 mg/L and a "high F" group with 2-3 mg/L. These levels are so close to the F levels in artificial fluoridation, that it is completely wrong for Pew to suggest these studies only dealt with levels of F that are much higher and therefore irrelevant to artificial fluoridation.

Even if the effect is relatively small, and most of the studies had deficiencies, the fact that by 10 to 1 they found that the "high F" group had lower IQ than the "low F" group suggests this is likely to be a real effect. Since the studies were carried out in many different places, using different methods and researchers, it is hard to imagine a systematic bias in all of these studies that would result in all of them producing spurious findings that F lowers IQ. Also, only a single study found that "high F" kids had higher IQ than "low F kids", and that was by a very small amount that was not statistically significant. Such consistency in results amongst 27 studies demands a follow-up with higher quality studies, rather than a dismissal because the studies had various weaknesses."

11. Medicating water causes risks to those with chemical sensitivities
Those in our community with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) have been recommended by their physicians to avoid fluoride in water, a known incitant. We are aware fluoride can only be filtered with reverse osmosis filtration devices. These devices filter approximately 93% of fluoride and do not work for shower or baths. They are expensive and are likely outside of financial means for the under insured who desire healthy teeth but not systemic fluoride sources that may put them at risk.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine explains MCS as "a very real chronic medical condition that has been only slowly gaining the public recognition it deserves. Recent estimates suggest that chemical sensitivity, that is, hyper-reactivity to various environmental agents (also known as incitants or triggers), may afflict something like 10-15% of the American population." Fluoride-containing water is considered an incitant.  http://www.aaemonline.org/chemicalsensitivitypost.html

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine is an international association of physicians and scientists in the forefront of treating people with chemical sensitivity and researching the relationship between health and the environment. In their position paper on fluoride, they state that "fluoride is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen even at the levels added to public water supplies," and that they support "banning the addition of fluoride or products containing fluoride to public water supplies."  http://www.aaemonline.org/images/FluorideResolution.pdf

12. Fluoride application, dosage, and placement in water is complex and not truly controllable.
Dosage is variable and not easily controlled. Some of our citizens will ingest more than others, depending on their water consumption and absorption. Total fluoride exposure is difficult to determine, based on lack of fluoride labeling on foods and beverages.

13. Fluoride added to our water supply is not a nutrient it is a known toxic substance (see MSD sheets) and has never been approved by the FDA for the ingestion purpose of reducing tooth decay.

Consumers will ingest fluoridation products entirely at their own risk. NO ONE is responsible/liable for harm. Manufacturers of these chemicals will not stand behind their products as either safe or effective for the purpose for which they are added when used as directed. Here's the disclaimer that appears on the MDS sheet for one of the largest suppliers in the U.S., Mosiac: The information in this document is believed to be correct as of the date issued. HOWEVER, NO WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR ANY OTHER WARRANTY IS EXPRESSED OR IS TO BE IMPLIED REGARDING THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF THIS INFORMATION, THE RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THIS INFORMATION OR THE PRODUCT, THE SAFETY OF THIS PRODUCT, OR THE HAZARDS RELATED TO ITS USE. This information and product are furnished on the condition that the person receiving them shall make their own determination as to suitability of the product for their particular purpose and on the condition that they assume the risk of their use thereof. The conditions and use of this product are beyond the control of Mosaic, and Mosaic disclaims any liability for loss or damage incurred in connection with the use or misuse of this substance. (13)

14. Systemic dosages are already occurring in hard to control and damaging amounts. Children (all of us, actually) are already receiving significant doses of fluoride from foods and beverages.

Here are a few important examples:

- This dental journal study looked at 43 different fruit juices and found that 42 percent of the samples had more than 1 part per million fluoride (the current, newly revised recommendation for drinking water is less than that—0.7 ppm). Gerber white grape juice tested out highest at 6.80 ppm, or nearly 10 times the current recommended level for water! (14)

- This dental journal study looked a fluoride levels of 332 soft drinks and found they "ranged from 0.02 to 1.28 ppm, with a mean level of 0.72 ppm. Fluoride levels exceeded 0.6 ppm for 71 percent of products." (15)

- This peer-reviewed study looked at fluoride levels in mechanically deboned chicken products and found: "A single serving of chicken sticks alone would provide about half of a child's upper limit of safety for fluoride." (16)

Fluoride exposure has become so ubiquitous, dental fluorosis (DF) rates are out of control. This permanent damage to teeth, downplayed by dentists as "merely cosmetic," is defined by Taber's Medical Encyclopedia (2001 edition) as "chronic fluorine poisoning, sometimes marked by mottling of tooth enamel." Even proponents admit that in its more severe forms, tooth functionality is compromised. Pitted enamel leaves a tooth vulnerable to decay, and fluoresced teeth are more brittle and prone to fracture.

The scientific literature shows that fluorosis causes embarrassment and psychological harm (see  http://www.slweb.org/bibliography.html#DFperceptions).

Based on the CDC study referenced next, we can expect 2-5 percent of Portland's child population to experience the moderate-to-severe form of this damage.

That the CDC's most recent research (2005) found 41 percent of 12-15 year-olds in the U.S. affected by dental fluorosis. (17) That fluorosis disproportionally affects some ethnic groups: CDC's study found among (1) White, (2) African American and (3) Mexican Americans, the percent of children with "very mild fluorosis" was 14.09, 21.21 and 15.93 respectively; percentages with "mild fluorosis" were 3.87, 8.24 and 5.05 respectively, and with "moderate/severe fluorosis," 1.92, 3.43 and 4.82 respectively. (17) This inequity, plus science identifying people with diabetes and kidney disease as "populations unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride,"(18) has prominent African Americans, including former ambassador Andrew Young and Bernice King (daughter of MLK, Jr) calling for an investigation into and halt of water fluoridation. (19)

15. This is not a racial or underserved issue
those in support of water fluoridation programs are making this an issue of race. City Council members should support all communities in need, and of all race, color, and heritage. Each and everyone of us is dependent on safe drinking water for health. We the citizens of Portland, regardless of race, do not appreciate adding a known toxin to all water and we do wish to support those most at risk with cheaper and more topical and choice based options.

16. Systemic fluoridation does not sufficiently provide better dental health
Hawaii, the least fluoridated state in the U.S. at 8.4 percent of the water systems fluoridated (20) has, according to CDC statistics, the lowest rate of edentulism (tooth loss) in the country, at 16 percent. (21) Kentucky, with public water systems fluoridated at 99.8 percent, has the highest rate of tooth loss at 44 percent. This is contrary to what we would expect based on promoters' rhetoric.

Please call and e-mail our Commissioners and Mayor. Remember to cc Council Clerk Karla Moore-Love so your comments can be part of public record.


Sam Adams, Mayor

Commissioner of Finance and Administration

City Hall @ 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, 97204

Phone: (503) 823-4120

E-mail:  mayorsam@portlandoregon.gov

Amanda Fritz

Commissioner of Public Utilities, Position Number 1

City Hall @ 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 220, 97204

Phone: (503) 823-3008

E-mail:  amanda@portlandoregon.gov

Nick Fish

Commissioner of Public Works, Position Number 2

City Hall @ 1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 240, 97204

(503) 823-3589

e-mail:  Nick@portlandoregon.gov

Randy Leonard

Commissioner of Public Safety, Position Number 4

City Hall @ 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 210, 97204

Phone: (503) 823-4682

E-mail:  randy@portlandoregon.gov

Dan Saltzman

Commissioner of Public Affairs, Position Number 3

City Hall @ 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 230, 97204

Phone: (503) 823-4151

E-mail:  dan@portlandoregon.gov

Thank you,

Kellie Barnes MOMT, MPT

OCSDW Volunteer


CDC, MMWR, 8/17/01/Vol.50/No.RR-14, "Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States";  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations;  http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#Inorganic; Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) is the enforceable level; the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG), which is non-enforceable, is the public health goal, in EPA's words, "The level of a contaminant at which there would be no risk to human health."

EPA letter to House Committee on Science, 6/23/99: "EPA does not regulate drinking water treatment chemicals."  link to www.keepers-of-the-well.org

Phosphorous & Potassium, September/October 1979 No. 103, pp. 33-39, Fluorine recovery in the fertilizer industry - a review.by H.F.J. Denzinger, H.J. Konig and G.E.W. Kruger; see especially the first two paragraphs:  http://www.fluoridealert.org/phosphate/denzinger.htm

Fluoridation chemicals are classified as hazardous wastes:  http://www.keepers-of-the-well.org/product_pdfs/Fluorides_Classified.pdf

FDA letter to House Committee on Science, 12/21/2000:  http://www.keepersofthewell.org/product_pdfs/FDA_response_pt.pdf

EPA letter, 4/2/98;  http://www.keepersofthewell.org/product_pdfs/EPA_ltr_to_Glasser.pdf

NSF, International letter to House Committee on Science, 7/7/2000 documenting contamination in the fluoridation product, see pg 7.  http://www.keepersofthewell.org/gov_resp_pdfs/NSF_response.pdf

Heller KE, et al (1997). Dental caries and dental fluorosis at varying water fluoride concentrations. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 57(3) 136-143  http://www.keepersofthewell.org/diligence_pdfs/Heller_and_Eklund.pdf; see 3rd to last paragraph, pg. 139

EPA's National Primary Drinking Water Regulations;  http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/index.cfm#Inorganic

International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology. www.iaomt.org/

Fluoride Action Network. www.fluorideactionalert.org

Choi A, et al. (2012). Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis. National Institute of Health. http:// dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1104912

Mosaic MDS for fluoride product (scroll to bottom of document):  link to www.mosaicco.com

McDonagh M, et al. (2000). A Systematic Review of Public Water Fluoridation. ("The York Review.") NHS Center for Reviews and Dissemination. University of York. September 2000;  http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/fluorid.htm

Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards, National Academies Press, 2006. See pg. 24, re sources of fluoride. Link to full report of the NRC panel:  http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11571

JADA, 1996. "Fluoride levels and fluoride contamination of fruit juices."  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1815742

JADA 1999 study: "Assessing fluoride levels of carbonated soft drinks."  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10573939

Agric Food Chem, 2001: "Fluoride content of foods made with mechanically separated chicken."  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11559124

Prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004;  http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db53.htm

CDC study, Beltrán-Aguilar et al; Surveillance for Dental Caries, Dental Sealants, Tooth Retention, Edentulism, and Enamel Flurosis—United States, 1998-1994 and 1992-2002; MMWR, 8/26/05;54(03);1:44. See very end, Table 23.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5403a1.htm

A Toxicological Profile by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) TP-91/17, Page 112, Sec. 2.7 (Health Impacts), April 1993;  http://www.keepersofthewell.org/diligence_pdfs/Susceptible_populations.pdf

"Atlanta Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation," 4/14/11;  http://aaenvironment.blogspot.com/2011/04/atlanta-civil-rights-leaders-call-for.html

CDC, Fluoridation status by state:  http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/nohss/FluoridationV.asp

USHHS, Edentulous rates by state:  http://drc.hhs.gov/report/pdfs/section4-toothloss.pdf