In November 2016, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) together with a coalition of organizations and private citizens, including Food & Water Watch, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, and Moms Against Fluoridation, presented a petition1 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling on the agency to exercise its authority to prohibit the addition of fluoridation chemicals to the public’s drinking water supplies under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
FAN’s petition was made on the grounds that a large body of animal, cellular and human research shows that fluoride is neurotoxic at doses within the range now seen in fluoridated communities, and included over 2,500 pages of scientific documentation detailing these health risks.
The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) allows individuals to petition the EPA to regulate and prohibit the “particular use“ of a chemical if the petitioner can show that it presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. TSCA specifically gives the EPA the authority to prohibit drinking water additives.
However, in an attempt to put up an unreasonable roadblock the EPA dismissed our petition based on a questionable interpretation of Congress’s recent amendments to TSCA. In response, FAN and our coalition partners filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California legally challenging the EPA’s denial of our petition.
It also prompted the Natural Resources Defense Council to file an amicus brief challenging EPA’s strained interpretation of the law. Since challenging the EPA in court, a lot has happened to move us closer to a successful outcome. We have won our first two battles in federal court, new government-funded research has been published which strengthens our case, and our day in court has been scheduled.