|Benedict J.Gallo, Ph. D.|
|Jason Kupperschmidt, B.|
|Norman R. Mancuso, Ph.D.|
|Alfred J. Murray, M. S. T.|
|Harlee S. Strauss, Ph. D.|
Dear Selectman Ball:This letter accompanies transmission of the report "Should Natick Fluoridate?" prepared jointly by the Fluoridation Study Committee of the Town of Natick. A summary version of this report is being prepared and copies will be provided as soon as it has been completed. Please advise if we can be of further service to the Board of Selectmen. Sincerely,
This statement of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendation specifically addresses the following question of the Board of Selectmen:
On the basis of the documentation provided to you by the proponents and opponents, do you believe that the potential side effects associated with fluoridating Natick's public water supply outweigh the potential benefits?Findings The Natick Fluoridation Study Committee conducted a thorough review of the scientific literature and made the following findings regarding the benefits and risks of water fluoridation.
Recent studies of the incidence of cavities in children show little to no difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.
Ten to thirty percent (10-30%) of Natick's children will have very mild to mild dental fluorosis if Natick fluoridates its water (up from probably 6% now). Approximately 1% of Natick's children will have moderate or severe dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis can cause great concern for the affected family and may result in additional dental bills. It should not be dismissed as a "cosmetic" effect.
Fluoride adversely effects the central nervous system, causing behavioral changes and cognitive deficits. These effects are observed at fluoride doses that some people in the US actually receive.
There is good evidence that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxicant, meaning that fluoride effects the nervous system of the developing fetus at doses that are not toxic to the mother. The developmental neurotoxicity would be manifest as lower IQ and behavioral changes.
Water fluoridation shows a positive correlation with increased hip fracture rates in persons 65 years of age and older, based on two recent epidemiology studies.
Some adults are hypersensitive to even small quantities of fluoride, including that contained in fluoridated water. At least one such person is a Natick resident.
The impact of fluoride on human reproduction at the levels received from environmental exposures is a serious concern. A recent epidemiology study shows a correlation between decreasing annual fertility rate in humans and increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water.
Animal bioassays suggest that fluoride is a carcinogen, especially for tissues such as bone (osteosarcoma) and liver. The potential for carcinogenicity is supported by fluoride's genotoxicity and pharmacokinetic properties. Human epidemiology studies to date are inconclusive, but no appropriate major study has been conducted.
Fluoride inhibits or otherwise alters the actions of a long list of enzymes important to metabolism, growth, and cell regulation.
Sodium fluorosilicate and fluorosilicic acid, the two chemicals Natick intends to use to fluoridate the water supply, have been associated with increased concentrations of lead in tap water and increased blood lead levels in children, based on case reports and a new, as-yet-unpublished study.
If Natick fluoridates its water supply at the proposed level, most children under the age of three will daily receive more fluoride than is recommended for them.
The scientific literature supporting these findings is summarized in the full report which also discusses a variety of non-health related concerns that have been raised about water fluoridationConclusion
The Committee reached the firm conclusion that the risks of overexposure to fluoride far outweigh any current benefit of water fluoridation.Recommendations
1. The Natick Fluoridation Study Committee unanimously and emphatically recommends that the town of Natick NOT fluoridate the town water supply.
2. The Natick Fluoridation Study Committee unanimously and emphatically recommends that the Board of Selectmen take appropriate action to ensure that fluoridation of the town water supply does not take place.