Should Natick, Mass. Artificially Fluoridate their Water Supply?
This was a question the City of Natick Massachusetts recently asked in 1997. With so much apparently conflicting data, often from the same medical organizations, they commissioned a respected team of top scientists to analyze the data and make a recommendation. The following are their conclusions and specific recommendations.
Natick Fluoridation Study Committee
Prepared by the Natick Fluoridation Study Committee
13 E. Central Street
Dr. B. J. Gallo, Research Microbiologist, U.S. Army Research
J. Kupperschmidt, Environmental Chemist
Dr. Norman R. Mancuso, former Apollo Program Project Scientist
A. Murray, former U.S. Army Natick Research Labs
Dr. Strauss, Molecular Biologist
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?
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"
- 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 evelopmental 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
- 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 fluoridation
The Committee reached the firm conclusion that the risks of overexposure to fluoride far outweigh any current benefit of water fluoridation.
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.
Download the entire 91 page report, Natick Report [400k .pdf file]