Petition to EPA

EPA Headquarters, Washington, DC
EPA Headquarters, Washington, DC

November 23, 2016 – PETITION DELIVERED: The International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT), and Fluoride Action Network (FAN), in coalition with others*, hand delivered to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) a petition, accompanied by over 2,500 pages of scientific documentation, to ban the use of fluoridation chemicals because of the neurotoxic risks of fluoride ingestion.

*Petitioners include: American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Food & Water Watch, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation, Organic Consumers Association, and various individuals.

Watch the video below for a brief explanation of FAN’s EPA petition. The screenshot shows FAN co-founder, and Director Emeritus, Paul Connett with  William J. Hirzy, retired Senior Scientist for Risk Assessment at US EPA (1981-2004), just after delivering the petition to EPA, along with many boxes of documentation.

The Petition was submitted under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) because it authorizes EPA to prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical that presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations. TSCA also gives EPA the authority to prohibit drinking water additives. Full text: 15 USC Ch. 53: TOXIC SUBSTANCES CONTROL From Title 15—COMMERCE AND TRADE

Historically, when a chemical has evidence of neurotoxicity, for example lead, it has been banned. In 2014, EPA added fluoride to its short list of chemicals, including arsenic and lead, with scientific evidence of developmental neurotoxic harm to humans.

The Petition presents a comprehensive list of human, animal and cell studies on fluoride’s neurotoxicity, 196 of the studies published since 2006 alone. The amount of fluoride from all sources, regularly consumed in fluoridated U.S. water districts, exceeds the levels that cause IQ loss. The scientific evidence meets TSCA requirements, more than enough for EPA to halt fluoridation of tap water. The full petition is available here:

From the date the EPA received the petition, it had 90 days to respond.

February 27, 2017EPA published its rejection of the petition, on the grounds that the petition failed to address conditions of use other than the fluoridation of drinking water. In so doing, EPA rejected its own policies on neurotoxic risk, which, if applied, would ban the use of fluoridation chemicals.

For an explanation of EPA’s stated reasons for rejecting the petition, read The National Law Review blog  (March 7, 2017), “EPA Denies TSCA Section 21 Petition on Fluoride Chemicals in Drinking Water; Provides Response to Petition.”

April 18, 2017 –  In response to EPA’s denial of the petition, on behalf of the petitioners,  attorneys Michael Connett and James Deal filed a complaint against EPA, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The complaint seeks a ban on water fluoridation, under Section 21 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The case is now in Federal Court in San Francisco  (Food & Water Watch Inc., et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 17-2162, Northern District California).  READ THE OFFICIAL COMPLAINT.

April 18, 2017 –  According to FAN’s attorney, Michael Connett, “this case will present the first time a court will consider the neurotoxicity of fluoride and the question of whether fluoridation presents an unreasonable risk under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).  And, in contrast to most other legal challenges of Agency actions, TSCA gives us the right to get the federal court to consider our evidence ‘de novo’—meaning federal courts are to conduct their own independent review of the evidence without deference to the EPA’s judgment.”  – Stuart Cooper

October 25, 2017The Natural Resources Defense Council and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families filed an  Amicus Curiae Brief in Support of Neither Party, against the EPA’s stated grounds for dismissal. READ THE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF.

November 30, 2017 – EPA filed a motion to dismiss “all claims in the present matter.”  READ THE MOTION TO DISMISS.

December 21, 2017US District Judge Edward M. Chen issued an order denying US EPA’s motion to dismiss the complaint. READ THE ORDER DENYING US EPA’S MOTION FOR DISMISSAL.  “In a fairly scathing rebuke of EPA’s legal positions, the court denied EPA’s motion to dismiss the petitioner’s judicial challenge of EPA’s administrative denial of the Section 21 petition and, in so doing, essentially rejected EPA’s interpretation that a citizen petition must evaluate all conditions of use of a chemical substance in a TSCA Section 6(b) risk evaluation.” – National Law Review (12/23/2017. Read the National Law Review article for a more complete explanation and discussion of Judge Chen’s order.

January 15, 2018 – The EPA “filed a brief seeking a protective order limiting review to the administrative record…”  In other words, EPA would deny the plaintiffs the right to submit evidence not submitted at the time of the original filing, including new scientific evidence that did not exist at the time of the filing, and evidence from the EPA itself, unavailable to the petitioners, but  potentially available  to the plaintiffs. Source:  Lexis Legal News (1/18/2018).


February 7, 2018 – US District Judge Edward M. Chen issued an order denying EPA’s motion to limit the scope of  the evidence submitted in Food & Water Watch Inc., et al, v. EPA, “opening the door to the plaintiffs offering a broad range of evidence to bolster their case rather than relying [solely] on information in EPA’s record.” READ THE ORDER DENYING US EPA’S MOTION TO LIMIT EVIDENCE.  Sources: Fluoride Action Network (2/8/2018)Inside EPA Daily News (2/7/2018).


Fluoride Neurotoxicity 

New – 2017 Study Quantifies Fluoride’s Potential to Reduce IQ in Children
Contact Clean Water Sonoma-Marin
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