St. Lawrence University Professor of Chemistry Paul H. Connett, an outspoken opponent
of the practice of adding fluoride to water supplies, recently gave a presentation on
the topic to the National Research Council (NRC), which is reviewing current regulations
on the chemical.
The NRC has been asked by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
conduct a review of the EPA's maximum contaminant level for fluoride; the last such
review was done in 1993. As part of the review, the NRC's committee held a meeting at
which a variety of experts were invited to give presentations. Connett was the only
fluoride opponent to be invited.
The NRC is part of the National Academies, which also comprise the National Academy of
Sciences, National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine. They are private,
nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology and health policy advice under
a congressional charter. The NRC was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in
1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's
purposes of further knowledge and advising the federal government.
Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the NRC
has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and
the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public
and the scientific and engineering communities. The NRC is administered jointly by both
Academies and the Institute of Medicine through the National Research Council Governing
Early in September, a group headed by Connett, Fluoride Action Alert, issued a joint statement
from a number of scientists and organized a petition drive "urging governments promoting
fluoridation to 'bring some integrity into the debate.'" It will be published in the October
issue of The Ecologist.
Posted: September 2, 2003