November 4, 2010
Edward J. Kowalski, Director,
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10
Mail Stop OCE-164
1200 Sixth Avenue, Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98101
RE: Environmental Justice Stakeholder Forum 10/28/10
Enforcement Group, Laws & Fluoridation, Action Item #1
Dear Mr. Kowalski,
I sincerely enjoyed meeting you and many other EPA staff during last Thursday’s Forum. I felt very fortunate that there were four of you in the EJ Enforcement Group and, most importantly, that you listened to what I had to say and took my concerns seriously.
As you know, our EJ Enforcement Group determined that Goal #1 fit our topic the best: “Eliminate, reduce or mitigate the burden of pollution and disproportionate, adverse public health and environmental impacts on low-income and minority communities and vulnerable populations such as children and the elderly.”
Water fluoridation is an Environmental Injustice to vulnerable populations:
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice upon those with chemical sensitivities who cannot drink, eat foods prepared with or bathe in fluoridated water without suffering serious health consequences, affecting a disproportionate number of children and adults with autism.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice to children because one-third living in fluoridated communities are expected to have dental fluorosis from excess fluoride and it is unreasonable to assume that a drug potent and toxic enough to permanently change the interior of the tooth has no effect on other organs, bones or health.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice against seniors because of the increase of bone fractures in fluoridated areas, which can be fatal for the most vulnerable elderly.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice against people of color because studies have shown blood lead levels higher in blacks than whites in fluoridated compared to unfluoridated areas.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice to children and adults with neurological disorders (including autism) and mental retardation because excess fluoride increases the rate of mental retardation, up to double in fluoridated areas compared to unfluoridated areas.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice to babies fed infant formula mixed with fluoridated water because those babies will receive 250 times more fluoride than a baby on mother’s milk.
Ø Fluoridation is an injustice to the poor, particularly, because they have no access to expensive fluoride-removal filtration systems, cannot transport bottled water from the store to their homes without a car, cannot afford to buy safe water for their babies and still do not have adequate access to dental care, have no better dental health than unfluoridated people but do have unnecessary health risks to because of it.
A review of the laws governing fluoride and water fluoridation is highly relevant to the public health, especially the most vulnerable. Local and state authorities in Washington consider EPA the governing agency on fluoridation. EPA’s authority over fluoridation has been cited repeatedly in petition denials from the Washington Board of Health and it perceives that EPA has fully certified the safety and effectiveness of fluoride for use on whole populations, presumably protecting the vulnerable. We know these beliefs to be false.
The EJ Enforcement Group determined that our objective (loosely worded) was to enforce existing laws to protect vulnerable populations from “adverse public health and environmental impacts” from toxins, including those chemicals that may be added by governmental agencies. Laws governing drugs apply to fluoride, but are being ignored. Governmental agencies are not above the law, but have been allowed to act as if they are.
In discussing possible EJ Action Items regarding water fluoridation, you expressed concern that Region 10 cannot override or contradict EPA headquarters, however we at Washington Action for Safe Water (WASW) believe that what we are asking is simply a request of local compliance to stated EPA headquarter positions and the laws governing the EPA, FDA and state and local governments which have thus far been ignored, misinterpreted or brushed under the table for lack of someone willing or able to challenge it. WASW, a non-profit with no paid staff, is challenging non-compliance here in Washington State.
Our Enforcement Group agreed to the following Action Items regarding fluoridation:
- Analyze the WASW petitions submitted to the Wash. State Board of Health (BOH), especially where BOH has cited EPA in their denial of those petitions.
- Meet with WASW board members, including Dr. Bill Osmunson, President, to discuss the petitions, process, legal issues and health effects of fluoridation.
- Survey national activities on water fluoridation (suggested by EPA staff).
- Determine if fluoridating water districts, BOH or other agencies are in compliance with state and federal laws governing the drug fluoride, as described in the WASW petitions that were denied by the BOH, citing EPA’s approval of fluoride.
- If non-compliance is found, educate/inform local and state agencies of Region 10’s law interpretations regarding the drug, water fluoridation.
I am attaching the following documents pertaining to Action Item #1 (more to follow):
BOH Petition #1 FDA Drug Approval 5-11-10
BOH Petition #1 Recom by EHC to Deny 6-9-10
BOH Petition #1 Initial Denial 6-14-10
BOH Petition #1 Governor Appeal 9-13-10
BOH Petition #1 Resubmission Denial 10-14-10
BOH Petition #1 Thiessen NRC Review
11-4-10 Email Letter to Edward Kowalski EPA Reg-10 (this letter in Word)
I understand that the attachments I have sent with this email are a tremendous amount of information to read, let alone analyze—it certainly is for myself having no scientific, drug or chemical expertise whatsoever. I have been forced into this battle for environmental justice because the inabilty to tolerate fluoride or fluoridated water in any form affects my autistic son every single day of his life, and therefore mine, because of his severe chemical sensitivities. I have two friends with autistic children who also cannot tolerate fluoride. This is not a coincidence because people with autism suffer from chemical sensitivities at a much higher rate than the average population due to their reduced ability to detoxify.
The possibility has not been ruled out that this reduced ability to detoxify, along with chronic exposure to chemical toxins from multiple sources, including water fluoridation, may be at the root of the development of autism. No governmental agency has bothered thus far to study this possible link, that I know of, nor to conduct any scientific studies to determine if the chronic exposure to fluoridated water may contribute to the severity of autism. Given the epidemic of autism, this is beyond shameful. For my son, fluoridated water increases the severity of his symptoms deemed to be “characteristics of autism”, yet he becomes “less autistic” without fluoride.
My personal motivation is my extreme concern over those autistic children and adults who may be suffering profound pain from fluoridated water, as my son did before my discovery, though their parents and caregivers may not figure it out for years, if ever. Pain, when experienced by individuals with low or no language, is often exhibited as “behavioral problems”. Doctors generally treat behavioral problems with drugs rather than determine the source of the problem, only making the situation worse. The person with autism, even if he recognizes the source himself, is very often unable to tell those around him that his shower, for example, gives him a screaming headache.
I am sending several emails to you to disperse the attachments. WASW has submitted a total of seven petitions to the Board of Health; only the first three have been acted upon—all denied and all based on EPA’s authority and approval of fluoridation. I will not be sending all of them at this time to spare you the sheer volume.
Because of the complexity and volume of information, I recommend a preliminary meeting with Dr. Bill Osmunson as soon as possible to help you understand the information I am sending.
I can’t express enough my appreciation to all of you at Region 10 for your interest in this Environmental Justice topic and your action at the local level.
Audrey Adams, Board Member
Washington Action for Safe Water
10939 SE 183rd Ct
Renton, WA 98055
cc: Donald Dossett & Dustan Bott, Office of Compliance & Enforcement, Region 10
Kendra Tyler, Assistant to DennisMcLerran, EPA Region 10 Administrator
Dr. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH and WASW Board
Additional email attachments:
2-A BOH Petition #2 Concentration 8-16-10
2-B BOH Petition #2 Denial 10-14-10
2-C BOH Petition #2 Governor Appeal 10-19-10
3-A BOH Petition #3 Lead (Deal) 9-13-10
3-B BOH Petition #3 Denial 10-14-10
S-1 BOParmacy Determines Fluoride is a Drug 6-4-09
S-2 EPA FOI Request from WASW 6-14-10
S-3 EPA Response No Record of Authority 7-6-10
S-4 EPA Nat Pri Drinking Water Regulations 3-29-10
S-5 EPA Response to FAN atty 9-23-10
S-6 MOU Memo of Understanding FDA to EPA 1979
S-7 FDA FOI No Records Relinq Authority 6-30-10
S-8 FDA Letter to Congress 12-21-00
S-9 UW Study on Wash Decay Rates Fl vs Unfl 1995