The Fayette County Commission on Dec. 13 voted to asked the General Assembly at the upcoming legislative session to consider letting local communities vote to remove fluoride from drinking water.
A requirement of state law, last amended in 1983, all municipal water systems in Georgia must include fluoride in drinking water. Georgia is the 7th most fluoridated state in the U.S., with 96 percent of residents fluoridated.
Current law states that individual communities supplying drinking water through a water system can remove themselves by referendum called by a petition of 10 percent of registered voters who voted in the last general election.
Commissioners are asking the General Assembly to “permit a municipality or county to call by resolution of the governing authority of said municipality or county for a referendum on whether said municipality or county and its water system shall remove itself from the fluoridation requirements imposed by the Board of Natural Resources.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association have long-touted the use of fluoride compounds because fluoride may reduce cavities.
CDC calls fluoride “One of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
What many parents are not aware of is the required “warning label” on tubes of toothpaste containing fluoride advising parents that young children should not swallow toothpaste and instructing parents call a poison control center if a child aged 6 or younger does so.
There have been numerous peer-reviewed studies citing the health problems with fluoride. In a meta-analysis conducted in 2012, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and China Medical University in Shenyang for the first time combined 27 studies and found strong indications that fluoride may adversely affect cognitive development in children, according to HSPH.
The study noted the average loss of seven IQ points associated with fluoride ingestion.
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Harvard study co-author Philippe Grandjean said. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
Calling for additional research, a 2006 National Academies Press paper entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPAs (Environmental Protection Agency) Standards” concluded that, “On the basis of information largely derived from histological, chemical and molecular studies, it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body by direct and indirect means.”