Pollick on infant formula

ADA Fluoridation Spokesman Howard Pollick Recommends Buying Unfluoridated Water For Baby Formula

Professor Howard Pollick
UCSF Professor Howard Pollick

Professor Howard Pollick, BDS, MPH is an expert spokesperson on fluoridation for the American Dental Association (ADA). Professor Pollick gives testimony and makes presentations in support of water fluoridation throughout the United States and Canada.

Here, Professor Pollick responds to San Diego City Council Chair Scott Peters who asks if “the level of fluoridation [is] too high for babies to drink.” The occasion is an informational presentation regarding planned water fluoridation by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California to a City of San Diego Joint Rules Committee & Special City Council Meeting (7/18/2007). (1)

Professor Pollick’s testimony (San Diego 2007) strengthens the case for including a strong infant formula advisory in the utility bills and water quality reports of water districts with fluoridated tapwater.

Pollick confirms that infant formula, diluted or reconstituted with fluoridated water, puts babies at risk for dental fluorosis, “white streaking of the teeth.”

He is clear about the need to provide fluoride-free formula to babies who are not breast-fed.

Howard Pollick, our foremost proponent of water fluoridation, says, “Infants under the age of 6 months we don’t recommend any fluoride,” and, “When using infant formula that needs to be diluted we’re recommending using distilled water that is available at stores.”

It is of concern that Professor Pollick’s fluoride caveat is arbitrarily limited to infants under six months old.

According the the ADA eruption charts, permanent teeth will continue developing from 17 to 21 years, therefore subject to fluorosis damage from ingested fluoride. According to the ADA charts, even the upper front teeth, the most visible, therefore of most concern re. cosmetic fluorosis damage, would appear to be still developing from 11 to 12 years. (2)

Also of concern, Professor Pollick dismisses fluorosis damage to tooth enamel as “usually quite mild” and “only of cosmetic concern” although dental fluorosis has more than cosmetic significance.

A recently published study headed by Harvard scientist Anna L. Choi found that, using a simple, specific mental development test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards, even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well than children without fluorosis. (3)

In addition, US EPA recently announced that fluoride has been identified as one of 22 chemicals with significant documented evidence of human developmental neurotoxicity. (4)

Because of the evidence linking fluoride to impaired brain development, the National Toxicology Program of the National Institute of Health (NTP) has announced plans to investigate fluoride’s detrimental effects on learning and memory, and the doses at which these effects can occur. (5) (6)

Howard Pollick’s 2007 expert testimony confirms that fluoridated water is not safe for babies. And, assertions notwithstanding, fluoridated water has not been proved safe for ingestion by all consumers regardless of age, size, health condition, quality of diet, or ethnicity. (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)

(1) The City of San Diego Rules Committee digital archive. The presentation on water fluoridation begins c. 1:53:00.
(2) ADA Eruption Charts. Mouth HealthyTM ADA American Dental Society.
(3) Choi, et al. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study.” Neurotoxicology and Teratology (Jan-Feb. 2015).
(4) Expanding the test set: Chemicals with potential to disrupt mammalian brain development.” EPA Review article. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 52 (2015) 25.
(5) “Nominations to the Report on Carcinogens and Office of Health Assessment and Translation; Request for Information.”  A Notice by the National Institutes of Health. Federal Register, The Daily Journal of the United States Government (10/07/2015).
(6)Concept: Proposed NTP Evaluation on Fluoride Exposure and Potential for Developmental Neurobehavioral Effects.” Presentation by Dr. Kristina Thayer, NIEHS/DNTP. NTP Webinar (12/2/2015). Conference Agenda.
(7) Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (2006). [NRC 2006] Link to free download, or read on line.

Learn more about dental fluorosis
Dental Fluorosis
Dental Fluorosis in the U.S. 1950-2004
Diagnostic Criteria for Dental Fluorosis: The Thylstrup-Fejerskov (TF) Index
“Mild” Dental Fluorosis: Perceptions & Psychological Impact

Biographical note: In addition to his work as expert spokesperson on fluoridation for the American Dental Association (ADA), Professor Howard Pollick, BDS, MPH is Health Sciences Clinical Professor, and Director, Dental Public Health Residency Program, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences at UCSF School of Dentistry, Chair of the Fluoridation Advisory Council of the California Dental Association Foundation, and a consultant to the California Department of Public Health.