A federal court trial underway in San Francisco could spell the beginning of the end of water fluoridation in America, potentially affecting drinking water supplies for hundreds of millions of people across the U.S.
Writer: Dan Ross
When wild horses and burros were threatened with extinction nearly 50 years ago, Congress rode to the rescue with a law providing broad protections. Horse numbers have soared, however, along with government costs to manage the herds. And the animals increasingly compete with privately owned livestock for food and water on public lands. There is broad agreement that something has to give.
Fluoride is often called one of the great public health achievements of the 20th century. But evidence suggests that while a small dose of the chemical can help prevent cavities, some American children are being exposed to amounts of fluoride that could be harmful to their teeth – and, possibly, even damaging to their brain development.
The open burning and open detonation of hazardous waste explosives is banned in many countries, including Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. Likewise, in this country, private industry long ago was forced to abandon the primitive disposal practice. But the U.S. military and Department of Energy have been allowed to continue.
At toxic cleanup sites across the country, environmental agencies have allowed groundwater contamination to go untreated and slowly diminish over time—a strategy that saves money for polluters but could cost taxpayers dearly and jeopardize drinking water supplies.