EPA on Trial
for Ignoring Fluoride as a Children’s Brain Toxin

by Leo Cashman, Director of DAMS (Dental Amalgam Mercury Solutions) and
Board member of National Health Freedom Coalition

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on trial in a federal district court in San Francisco over its failure and unwillingness to classify fluoride as being toxic to children’s brains and impairing children’s ability to learn. The stakes are high as fluoride products are currently being added to the drinking water of 200 million Americans and fluoridation is promoted in fifteen other countries. Further, fluoride, a powerfully toxic germ-killer, is used in most toothpastes sold in the US, and it is touted as being safe and effective in fluoride gels, rinses and varnishes that are widely used in dentistry.

The American Dental Association (ADA) is a bastion of fluoride promotion.  ADA has long forged a close partnership with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the nation’s active fluoride promoter.  The CDC works through state health departments which it heavily funds. CDC touts its water fluoridation efforts as “one of the greatest health achievements of the 20th century,” although its critics, including independent scientists, have long criticized fluoridation as a scam and a boondoggle. Now the vast edifice of fluoride promotion and fluoride use is being challenged by increasingly overwhelming evidence that fluoride, and especially prenatal exposures to fluoride, damages children’s intelligence.  It triples the incidence of “inattentive behavior and cognitive problems” according to Canadian researcher Morteza Bashash, PhD, co-author of several of the studies. “The symptoms of ADHD often persist into adulthood and can be impairing in daily life,” says Christine Till, PhD, another co-author of key studies.

The plaintiffs in this groundbreaking suit are various individuals and two non-profit groups, Food and Water Watch, and the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).  FAN spearheads the effort. Since being founded in 2000 by chemistry professor Paul Connett, PhD, FAN has gathered scientific evidence and educated the public about fluoride and its real impact on health, separating myth from science. As FAN’s web site, FluorideAlert.org, has long revealed, the benefits of water fluoridation are virtually undetectable, while the damage that is done is extensive: 

1) damage to teeth, known as dental fluorosis;

2) weakening bones and connective tissue, calcifying cartilage and ligaments;

3) fluoride competing with iodine, thus damaging thyroid function;

4) causing arthritic symptoms (in extreme exposure, “crippling skeletal fluorosis”);

5) calcification of the kidneys, and of the pineal gland which makes a key hormone, melatonin; and

6) causing a rare but deadly form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, which can afflict – and often kill – boys and young men.

Hardly a nutrient to be sought after and recommended, fluoride is a poison to be avoided, ranking as more toxic than lead and not quite as toxic as arsenic.

It is important to recognize where the fluoridation used in our water and dental products comes from. There are two key sources.  Ninety percent of the fluoridation product is hazardous industrial waste captured by the pollution control equipment at phosphate fertilizer plants.   Instead of the fertilizer plant having to dispose of its toxic waste in an environmentally responsible manner, the plant actually sells it – laced with arsenic, lead, and radioactive elements. The other ten percent of the product used is a sodium fluoride compound coming from China, laced with high levels of aluminum; thus, the China source also appears to be hazardous industrial waste. 

The use of fluoride in water has been a scam since its inception in 1940.  America’s most touted fluoride “expert” scientist, Harold Hodge, PhD, was found to have intentionally and fraudulently assured Congress and the public that water fluoridation at a concentration of one part per million is safe. See The Fluoride Deception (2006) exposé by investigative reporter Christopher Bryson.

In 1995, toxicologist Phyllis Mullenix, PhD, published a landmark rat study showing that sodium fluoride in the rats’ water was harmful to the brain and behavior of rats. The nature of the damage depended on the gender and the time of exposure, whether prenatal or adolescent. This was a very sophisticated study, authored by one of the nation’s top toxicologists. Fluoride’s image as being safe and harmless was in trouble.  The science was not welcomed by the NIH dental establishment.  When NIH got a look at her results it told her not to publish. Being of integrity and knowing that the work had consumed six years of her life, she published anyway. She was promptly fired as head of toxicology at Forsyth Dental Research. And before she could get her high-tech equipment out of her lab at Forsyth, it “rained” from the ceiling on her equipment. Silly woman.  Didn’t she know that it would “rain’ on her equipment? She never got another government grant or an academic position again, ending her career as a toxicological research scientist.

A 1998 rat study by Varner, Isaacson et al. showed a strong synergy between aluminum and fluoride in causing harm to the brain and the kidneys.  It was found that fluoride greatly increases the uptake of aluminum into the brain. The animals in the low dose fluoride + aluminum group all died by the end of the first year and had brain pathologies that looked like dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. It is reasonable to conclude that fluoride, as it combines with aluminum, is one important mechanism behind the Alzheimer’s epidemic so rampant in the US and other developed countries.

Mainstream media failed to tell the public about the emerging science and the studies that were so damning to the fluoride mythology. Corrupt agencies, corrupt corporations, and complicit media all protected each other. But efforts at truth continued. In 2006 the National Research Council (NRC) published a comprehensive review, Fluoride in Drinking Water, that found widespread damage to thyroid function due to the many fluoride exposures – water, air pollution, non-organic food where it is shockingly high, and industrial pollutions that people are exposed to.  It stated that “fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body.” After that, the research kept coming, gaining momentum, and showing adverse brain effects in children. In 2012, a Harvard-funded meta-analysis showed that children ingesting higher levels of fluoride had lower (IQ) intelligence by an average of seven points in twenty six out of twenty-seven studies. Fluoride was coming to be viewed as being similar to lead, with its ability to damage a child’s brain and behavior in a dose-dependent fashion.

The EPA, which should be regulating the effects of toxins in our environment, has a long history of ignoring the science about fluoride.  EPA’s own scientists adopted resolutions condemning water fluoridation and calling for its end, and even picketed the EPA, protesting its failure to properly regulate fluoride and arsenic in the water.  But the EPA scientists were over-ruled by politically appointed “managers” who seem to serve special interests, such as ADA, manufacturers of fluoride toothpaste, and the phosphate fertilizer plants that sell toxic fluoride wastes as if it were a valuable commodity.

In the year 2016, FAN and others filed a Citizen’s Petition to the EPA, presenting evidence that fluoride harms the brains of children, and demanding that the EPA recognize it as such and take steps accordingly to protect the public. When the EPA blew off the petition that had been served upon it, the petitioners went on to the next step; a lawsuit filed in federal district court. Success with a favorable ruling in a federal court would provide case law and a precedent for all of the United States. This was the first time that such a lawsuit has been filed by a citizen coalition under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) since it had been enacted in 1976. So, the path-breaking trial, held on zoom over six days this past June, was widely watched by the health, environmental and scientific community.

The trial showed EPA’s lawyers and scientific experts trying to reduce the credibility of the plaintiffs’ world-class experts and their well-researched scientific papers. One Plaintiff expert scientist was Harvard Professor Phillippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc.  Grandjean serves on the editorial board of five journals and is the author of over a hundred scientific papers. Another eminent expert for the plaintiffs was Bruce Lanphear, PhD, who was a lead author on a study in a Mexico City population that found that higher levels of fluoride in mothers’ urine correlated with lower IQ scores in their children at age four and at older ages between six and twelve. Plaintiff’s experts presented a study by Green (2019) showing that higher fluoride levels in the urine of pregnant women were associated with lower IQs in boys. The Green study also found that when fluoride exposures were calculated from both food and beverages, higher fluoride exposure correlated with lower IQs in both boys and girls. A study by Riddell (2019) found that the incidence of ADHD was nearly tripled in fluoridated communities as compared with non-fluoridated areas. Finally, a study by Till (2019) found that children who had been bottle fed in fluoridated communities, and thus had high-fluoride infant formula, had much lower IQs, as opposed to children nursed by their mother’s breast milk, which nature, in its wisdom, keeps low in fluoride.

Unfazed, the EPA drew upon its own expert witnesses, not from its own in-house scientists, but upon the talent available from a “scientist-for-hire” company known as Exponent. Exponent’s specialty is providing scientists to help manufacturers of defective parts and corporate polluters get off the hook in a trial. One of the two EPA witnesses was Ellen Chang, ScD. Not claiming to be a fluoride researcher or a fluoride expert, Chang has a long track record as an expert witness, having testified on behalf of corporate polluters such as DOW Chemical (Agent Orange), Monsanto (Roundup), 3M (PFOAs) and Syngenta and Croplife (pesticides). She has also been an expert for the American Chemistry Institute and the American Petroleum Institute. Chang claims to have a more advanced, more sophisticated way of analyzing data in a study, called “systematic analysis,” Her method seems to allow her to reach conclusions that are diametrically opposite of what the scientists themselves concluded. In the fluoride trial, Chang dismissed all of the fluoride Plaintiff studies that showed fluoride to be a brain toxin, saying that the studies were all of “low quality” and that all of the scientists doing them were “biased.” Chang was unwilling to disclose her annual pay from her employer Exponent to the court but agreed to privately share that amount with the judge.

As of the writing of this article, the trial evidence and the pleadings, as well as the closing statements have all concluded.  But Judge Chen, who seemed to follow all of the evidence closely and with great interest, has not yet ruled in the matter. He has held discussions with the opposing parties, urging delay and negotiation. He has also warned that he might rule against the Plaintiffs on the basis of standing – complaining that no pregnant women are to be found on the list of plaintiffs. He is leaving a window of time open for the plaintiffs to amend the petition and the lawsuit so as to buttress its “standing.” 

Until November at the earliest, the case remains suspended. It is being closely watched for evidence that the “system” of American government can be made to work, that at least one branch of the government, the judiciary, can function to serve the people. At a time when COVID mandates and vaccine mandates loom larger, the fluoride developments could provide a teachable moment: that one-size-fits-all health mandates are ill-advised and can inflict far more harm than good. The history of the scam of fluoridation should prompt us to question other research that is used to justify other mandates, as with vaccine mandates, past and future. Are there hidden agendas and profit motives driving these mandates? Let us wish the best for the judge hearing this landmark case. If you are thinking about Judge Edward Chen, and the verdict that he has to make, send him wisdom and light. 

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