64 American Dental Association In November 2016, those opposed to fluoridation filed a legal petition148 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C. calling for the EPA to ban the addition of fluoridating chemicals to public drinking water on the grounds that a large body of animal, cellular, and human research showed that fluoride is neurotoxic at doses within the range now seen in fluoridated communities in the U.S. (0.7 mg/L). The EPA responded to the petition in February 2017 noting, “After careful consideration, EPA denied the TSCA section 21 petition, primarily because EPA concluded that the petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S.”148 As allowed under the TSCA process, the petitioners filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA ruling in April 2017 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California at San Francisco. In late 2017, a federal judge denied an EPA motion to dismiss the lawsuit. In 2017 a study from Mexico City149 received some coverage in the popular press. The authors concluded higher urinary fluoride levels of pregnant women were associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in their children. This was an observational study that by definition could only show a possible association between fluoride exposure and IQ not cause and effect. This small study did not adequately address a number of potential confounders that might explain the possible association such as breast feeding, maternal age, gestational age, birth weight and education as well as exposures to lead, mercury, arsenic and iodine that affect IQ and other measures of cognitive ability. Unlike conditions in the U.S., the pregnant women participating in the study were exposed to varied fluoride levels from naturally occurring fluoride in the water supply (in some cases at levels almost twice as high as the level recommended for community water fluoridation in the U.S.) and fluoridated salt.149 Additional research on this topic is underway through the National Toxicology Program’s systematic review using animal studies to evaluate potential neurobehavioral effects from exposure to fluoride during development. Initiated in 2015, work continued in 2017.23 42. Does drinking fluoridated water increase the level of lead in the blood or cause lead poisoning in children? Answer. The best available scientific evidence has not shown any association between water fluoridation and blood lead levels. Fact. A number of reviews and data analyses indicate no association between water fluoridation and blood lead levels. In 2011, the European Commission requested that the European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) perform a critical review of fluoridating agents of drinking water. The committee concluded that “it is highly unlikely that there would be an increased release of lead from pipes due to hexafluorosilicic acid.20 Hexafluorosilicic acid is another name for fluorosilicic acid which is one of the additives used to fluoridate water in the U.S. Additional information on this topic can be found in the Fluoridation Practice Section, Question 49. A 2006 study analyzed data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988- 1994) and the 1992 Fluoridation Census to evaluate the relationship between water fluoridation and lead concentrations in children. The study concluded that the results did not support that the silicofluorides used in community water systems caused higher lead concentrations in children.150 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,151 the average blood lead levels of young children in the U.S. have continued to decline since the 1970s primarily due to lead poisoning prevention laws such as the phase-out of leaded paint and leaded gasoline. The primary remaining sources of childhood lead exposure are deteriorated leaded paint, house dust contaminated by leaded paint and soil contaminated by leaded paint and/or decades of industrial and motor vehicle emissions. Besides exposure to lead paint in older homes, lead water pipes and fixtures also can be found in homes built before 1978. In some areas of the county, folk remedies and pottery also add to lead exposure.151 Findings from the National Health and Nutrition
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