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Environmental connections to public health >>

LA water company takes 5 minutes for fluoride

Thursday, August 9, 2007

On Aug. 20, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which supplies drinking water to Los Angeles, San Diego and four other counties, will be briefed on the health risks of water fluoridation. MWD is preparing to add fluoride to its supplies in October. Many cities in SoCal already add fluoride to their water after they get it from Met, but now they won't have a choice.

MWD scheduled the briefing after EWG, the Fluoride Action Network and Citizens for Safe Drinking Water raised concerns that the utility's 18 million customers should be fully informed about the new state of scientific thinking on fluoridation. In just a couple of years, concerns about fluoride in drinking water have gone from being considered a fringe issue to a mainstream debate, as new evidence has emerged about its health risks, which include an increase in a rare bone cancer among boys exposed to too much fluoride as infants.

Last year, a landmark National Research Council report pointed to a growing body of evidence that fluoride is also an endocrine disruptor. In response to the NRC report, the American Dental Association for the first time acknowledged that fluoride poses health risks, and issued an advisory warning parents who feed their infants formula reconstituted with fluoridated tap water that they should consider bottled water instead. This week, the Fluoride Action Network sent Congress a petition signed by 600 medical, public health and environmental professionals, urging a moratorium on fluoridation until more research to determine the level of risk.

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