TSCA Fluoridation Lawsuit to Proceed

Bloomberg Law is reporting that the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) case filed in April 2017 to ban the fluoridation of drinking water will proceed. Text copied from the Bloomberg Law website (https://news.bloomberglaw.com/environment-and-energy/drinking-water-case-proceeds-to-probe-fluoride-data-court-says) is presented below:

“A Federal court will allow a lawsuit to prohibit fluoride from drinking water to proceed to review new scientific evidence about the chemical’s potential to harm babies’ developing nervous systems.”

“Judge Edward M. Chen of the US District Court North District of California ruled on Friday that the case – filed in 2017 by Foot & Water Watch and other advocacy groups – can proceed to review a scientific study and two summary evaluations of multiple fluoride health effects studies. The case has been on hold since April 2021.”

“The science the court wants to review includes a May 2022 unpublished, draft version of a federal health agency’s assessment of fluoride’s neurodevelopment and other health effects. The court will obtain the National Toxicology Program’s draft health assessment via a protective order and not disseminate it “at this juncture,” Chen ruled.”

A simplified highlight of some key dates in the case is presented below:
1. November 2016 – a petition was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the addition of fluoride to drinking water under TSCA. The stated objective of the petition was to “protect the public and susceptible subpopulations from the neurotoxic risks of fluoride by banning the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water.”
2. The petition was submitted by the following organizations: Fluoride Action Network, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and several individuals.
3. February 2017 – EPA denied the petition.
4. April 2017 – petitioners filed lawsuit against EPA.
5. EPA asked court to dismiss lawsuit.
6. December 2017 – court ruled against EPA and allows lawsuit to proceed.
7. EPA asks court to limit the scope of the lawsuit to only the information included in the original November 2016 petition.
8. The court denied EPA’s request to limit the scope of review.
9. Seven-day trial held in June 2020.
10. Since the June 2020 trial, there has been additional activity between the parties and the court, one key item was the judge’s decision to wait for two documents reviewing fluoride’s neurotoxic effects before making a ruling.