Environment and Public Affairs Committee of the WA Legislative Council
Dec 1, 2017
Dear Chairman of the Committee: Hon. Matthew Dean Swinbourn MLC and Committee members,
Please accept this statement on behalf of Petition 016 before you.
Paul Connett’s statement
- My name is Paul Harry Connett. I was born in England in 1940 but moved pemanently to the USA in 1979.
- I obtained my bachelor’s degree from Cambridge University in 1963 and my PhD in chemistry from Dartmouth College, Hanover NH in USA in 1993.
- I taught chemistry at St. Lawrence University from 1983 until my retirement (with a rank of full professor) in 2006.
- My specialty at St. Lawrence was environmental chemistry and toxicology.
- I first got involved with the issue of water fluoridation in 1996.
- My concerns about this issue triggered –with the help of other scientists and citizens to the formation of the Fluoride Action Network, (www.FluorideAction.net) for which I was the director from 2000 to 2015.
- In 2010, with two other retired professors (James Beck, MD, PhD and Spedding Micklem, DPhil (Oxon) ) I co-authored the book The Case Against Fluoride… (Chelsea Green, 2010). This book is scientifically-based and documents every argument we make in 80 pages of references. Despite this, proponents of fluoridation have failed to mount a serious scientific rebuttal of our arguments. I will be happy to send you a pdf copy of my book.
- After 21 years of this battle I can vouch for the fact that it is not easy to get people to listen to the honest science on this issue. We are up against governments with huge budgets to defend outdated policies; special interests with big money; ill-informed professional bodies, and a largely lazy media which keeps the public, and itself, in the dark on the issue.
- But while it is not easy, our effort gets more and more urgent with each passing year because of the continuing revelations of the dangers posed to our children, especially with respect to the development of their brains. The latest example is the September 19th block-buster study which I will discuss below.
- The first year of my personal involvement in this issue (1996) coincided with the publication of the first two IQ studies which found an association between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ. These came one year after Mullenix et al, raised this possibility in her seminal work on fluoride’s impact on animal behavior in 1995). This study got her fired from her position as the chairperson of the first department of toxicology in a dental school (Forsyth Research Institute in Boston), reminding us how hard it is to separate serious science on this issue from political interference from those who are determined to keep this practice going regardless of its human costs.
- We now have over 150 animal studies that show that fluoride can interfere with various aspects of brain function; 45 studies that show that fluoride interferes with the ability of animals to learn and remember and 51 human studies that have associated exposure to fluoride with loss of IQ. And some of the best of these studies have been carried out at doses exceeded by many children in fluoridated communities. Using standard risk assessment techniques, former U.S. EPA risk assessment specialist, Willam Hirzy PhD, has shown that 1.4 mg/day is associated with a lowering of IQ by 5 IQ points in one well-conducted Chinese study (Xiang et al., 2003a, 2003b). See a comprehensive summary of these studies here.
- In November 2016, FAN, together with a coalition of other groups and individuals (*see below), presented a petition to the US EPA to end the deliberate addition of this neurotoxic substance to the public drinking water under provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
- EPA dismissed the petition based on a questionable interpretation of Congress’s recent amendments to TSCA. This prompted the Natural Resources Defense Council to file an amicus brief opposing EPA’s motion.
- EPA’s motion to dismiss was heard yesterday (Nov. 30) in Federal Court in San Francisco where the EPA once again marshaled this same troubling interpretation in its motion to dismiss our lawsuit.
- My son, Michael Connett, brought forward argumentation why the Petition should not be dismissed. Michael said last night that the hearing went well and that he is cautiously optimistic that the judge will deny EPA’s motion to dismiss.
- Since filing the petition our concerns on fluoride’s neurotoxicity have been validated from an unexpected source. A 12-year multimillion dollar study, financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has shown an association between fluoride exposure to pregnant women in Mexico (as measured by fluoride in their urine) and lowered IQ in their offspring. The study was published in the world’s leading environmental health journal (Environment Health Perspectives).
- Even so this didn’t stop the American Dental Association and other promoters of fluoridation from dismissing the significance of the study for pregnant women in fluoridated communities even though they are being exposed to the same doses as measured in the Mexican study! Politics attempting to trump science again!
- Our message is not complicated: It’s unconscionable for any government to sanction the deliberate addition of a neurotoxic substance to the drinking water of millions of children.
- I urge you to hear the evidence (including the above) on this matter with an open mind.
- The very last children who need their IQ lowered, are children from low-income families, the very children targeted for fluoridation by well-intentioned but seriously ill-informed promoters of fluoridation.
Paul Connett, PhD
FAN Senior Advisor
*The coalition petitioning EPA are: Fluoride Action Network, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Food & Water Watch, International Academy on Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Moms Against Fluoridation, Organic Consumers Union, as well as these mothers on behalf of their children: Audrey Adams, Jacqueline Denton, Valerie Green, Kristin Lavelle, and Brenda Staudenmaier.