Review of
the California Oral Health Needs Assessment 1993-94

Prepared for the City of Escondido
January 31, 2000

An independent review of the California Oral Health Needs Assessment 1993-94 was ordered by the City of Escondido California. At the time this report was commissioned, they were reviewing the fluoridation question.

This "Needs Assessment" was the research used to convince the California legislature to pass AB733, mandating fluoridation throughout the state. It's often referred to as authorative reference by those advocating fluoridation.

The following is a summary of the independent review's conclusions;

  • One of the authors of the original study, R. Isman was under indictment with the Oregon State Supreme Court for election code violations concerning an Oregon fuoridation ballot issue. He later became California's State Dental Director and in his new position admits to using the DHF (Dental Health Foundation) "...to do the business of the State." He also became author, planner, as well as critical reviewer of the study used to lobby AB733 [mandatory fluoridation] through the CA State Legislature.
  • The draft report was not published or peer-reviewed in the six years since its completion.
  • It is not correct to conclude that children in fluoridated areas have fewer cavities per child.
  • Does not establish total fluoride exposure on an individual or average basis and does not consider all sources of fluoride exposure. The data on dental caries in California children should be reanalyzed to account for the effects or lack of effects of total fluoride intake
  • Sample are not representative with respect to randomness or to distribution across races, economic levels, geographic regions, etc., nor were the data collected blindly, that is, without knowledge of a child's fluoridation status
  • Given the amount of public concern that fluoride (or excess fluoride) may cause harm to at least some individuals, the conclusion to increase fluoride usage should be drawn only if the study also establishes that no adverse effects will result.
  • The primary conclusion reported for the study does not necessarily follow from the data as reported by Pollick et al. (1994), namely, that increased fluoridation of public water supplies and increased supplementation of fluoride in nonfluoridated areas are warranted.
Other selected past or present government clients served by Senes Oak Ridge:

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
National Cancer Institute
National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
State of Colorado
State of Idaho
State of Kentucky
State of Tennessee
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
World Health Organization

Read the 25 page report "Review of the California Oral Health Needs Assessment 1993-94" (500k PDF file)