Lawsuit Might Bring an End to Fluoridated Water in the U.S.

A group of environmental and health organizations are asking a federal court to rule that artificially adding floride to drinking water presents an unreasonable risk of injury to health or the environment, including an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible populations.

The lawsuit, filed in April 2017, comes on the heels of the EPA’s refusal to grant the coalition’s request for a ban as outlined in a petition submitted November 2016. If the Court rules in favor of the coalition, the EPA would be ordered to ban the fluoridation of U.S. water supplies.

Ingested Fluoride Does Not Prevent Cavities

Water fluoridation began in the 1940s based on dentists’ mistaken belief that fluoride had to be ingested in order to offer resistance against cavities. As we now know, fluoride only works topically as affirmed by the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1999: “fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children.”

Fluoride is Industrial Waste Often Containing Arsenic and Lead

The fluoride chemicals that are added to our drinking water are “unpurified industrial by-products that are collected in the air pollution control systems of certain industries.” Because they are not processed to remove impurities, they often also contain troubling levels of arsenic and possibly lead.


By: Combustion2016 (Own work)[CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia

Our Drinking Water is Medicated: Fluoride is Classified as a Drug

These industrial by-products are considered a drug by the Food & Drug Administration. This means that 70% of the United States’ drinking water (statistic of 2012) is essentially medicated. And since concentrations are not controlled and fluoride in drinking water is not the only source of fluoride, there is no way to control dosage.

Fluoride Has Been Officially Classified as a Neurotoxin

In 2014, Phillippe Grandjean, MD and Philip J. Landrigan, MD published a report in The Lancet Neurology that placed fluoride in the same category as mercury, lead and arsenic, an industrial chemical known to cause neurotoxicity in humans. And because fluoride is not just found in our drinking water, but in processed foods and products such as toothpaste, American children and adults are ingesting fluoride at doses that are linked to neurotoxic effects, including IQ loss.

In its petition to the EPA and in its complaint to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the Fluoride Action Network has provided over 2500 pages of scientific documentation on the “over 180 studies showing that fluoride causes neurotoxic harm (e.g., reduced IQ), pointing out that many of these studies found harm at levels within the range, or precariously close to, the levels millions of American children now receive.”

So Why is Fluoride Still in Our Drinking Water?

For years, the EPA has refused to respond in any meaningful way to the several requests by various organizations to address the dangerous effects of fluoride. For example, in 2006 the National Research Council (NRC) determined that the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal  (MCLG) for fluoride should be lowered based on its three year review of the existing studies that led them to conclude that fluorides have the ability to interfere with brain function.

Over ten years later, the EPA has refused to implement their recommendation, despite the fact that it was the EPA that asked the NRC to conduct the study.

No longer at the mercy of the EPA, this lawsuit is unique in the fact that the Court will be conducting its own independent review of the evidence without deference to the EPA’s position.


Is there Fluoride in Your Water?

To find out whether your city has fluoridated water, and if so, how much, check your water bill or the local government listings online. You can also contact your water utility. For a list of states that have mandated drinking water fluoridation, see here.

What Water Does NOT Have Fluoride Added?

Spring water does not contain fluoride and water that has been filtered through a Reverse Osmosis (RO) system should remove fluoride. If your drinking water supply is fluoridated, switch to spring or RO water.

Answers to Common Questions About Fluoride

Safe Baby Healthy Child’s previous articles are a great resource for more information about fluoride. Find out how to reduce your intake, what foods contain fluoride and at what amounts, what hygiene practices expose your body to fluoride and much more. See Related Posts below.