The following is an excerpt from a legal affidavit filed in 1993
by Dr. Robert Carton, Past-President of EPA Headquarters Union in
Washington D.C. To read the complete affidavit, click
1. I am an environmental scientist currently with the U.S. Army.
From September 1972 until May 1992, I was employed full-time by
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I spent approximately
15 of those years in the Office of Toxic Substances, managing risk
assessments. For two years I was responsible for writing regulations
under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. I was also program
manager for compliance of new pollution sources with the National
Environmental Policy Act.
2. I was President of the union of EPA professionals for two terms.
This union, the National Federation of Federal Employees, Local
2050, represented then, and still does, 1100 lawyers, scientists,
and engineers at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
3. I received my B.A. in chemistry from La Salle University, Philadelphia,
PA, my M.S. in environmental science from Drexel University, Philadelphia,
PA, and my Ph.D. in environmental science from Rutgers University,
New Brunswick, NJ.
4. I recently published an article on the U.S. Cancer - Fluoride
situation (Exhibit____), and have managed the preparation of a long
list of reports and studies while an employee of EPA.
5. My field of study, interest and expertise, and my previous responsibilities
as president of the union of EPA professionals, has led me to consider
thoroughly, and, in an impartial manner, the scientific basis for
the government's claims as to what constitutes a safe level of fluoride
in drinking water.
6. During that investigation, I have discovered that the government,
in its assessment of the risks of fluoride exposure, violated accepted
standards of professional conduct.
7. In the spring of 1985, allegations of scientific misconduct
in the development of EPA's fluoride in drinking water standard
were made to the union by an EPA professional intimately familiar
with the work on the standard.
8. In November of that year, EPA set a new Recommended Maximum
Contaminant Level (RMCL) for fluoride in drinking water of 4 mg/l,
which approximately doubled the dose considered to be safe (the
previous standard was 1.4 to 2.4 mg/l).
9. As union president-elect, I investigated these allegations and
concluded that the scientific documents supporting the decision
to raise the RMCL were fraught with tendentious errors and omissions
of key data, to the point of constituting scientific fraud.
10. My conclusions were summarized in a statement, given at a meeting
of the Drinking Water Subcommittee of the EPA Science Advisory Board,
Arlington, VA., on November 1, 1991 (Exhibit____). In that statement
I noted the following.
a. The fluoride in drinking water standard, or Recommended
Maximum Contaminant Level (RMCL), published by the EPA in the
Federal Register on Nov. 14, 1985, is a classic case of political
interference with science.
b. The regulation is a fraudulent statement by the Federal
Government that 4 mg/l of fluoride in drinking water is safe
with an adequate margin of safety.
c. There is evidence that critical information in the scientific
and technical support documents used to develop the standard
were falsified by the Department of Health and Human Services
and the EPA to protect a long-standing public health policy.
d. EPA professionals were never asked to conduct a thorough,
independent analysis of the fluoride literature. Instead, their
credentials were used to give the appearance of scientific credibility.
They were used to support the predetermined conclusion that
4 mg/l of fluoride in drinking water was safe.
e. The EPA management ignored the requirements of the law to
protect sensitive individuals such as children, diabetics or
people with kidney impairment. Contrary to law, they made the
criteria for considering health data so stringent that reasonable
concerns for safety were eliminated. Data showing positive correlations
between fluoride exposure and genetic effects in almost all
laboratory tests were discounted.
f. EPA management based its standard on only one health effect:
crippling skeletal fluorosis. In setting the safe level at 4
mg/l, however, they ignored data showing that healthy individuals
were at risk of developing crippling skeletal fluorosis if these
individuals happened to drink large quantities of water at the
"safe" level of 4 mg/l. EPA's own data showed that some people
drink as much as 5.5
liter per day. If these people ingested this amount of water
containing 4 mg/l of fluoride, they would receive a daily dose
of 22 mg. This exceeds the minimum dose necessary to cause crippling
skeletal fluorosis, or "20 mg/day for 20 years" as stated by
the EPA and Public Health Service. Most unsettling is the fact
that EPA and the National Academy of Sciences can not document
the scientific basis for the 20 mg/day threshold.
g. In a recent series of letters between National Academy of
Sciences, Ms. Darlene Sherrel, and Sen. Graham of Florida, the
NAS was forced to admit that it could not document the derivation
of the chronic effect level for crippling skeletal fluorosis.
As already mentioned, crippling skeletal fluorosis is the single
health effect upon which the fluoride in drinking water standard
is based. The threshold is probably lower.
h. There is evidence, ignored by the EPA, in a study by Dr.
Geoffrey Smith, that exposure to fluoride at 1 mg/l in drinking
water over a long period of time may calcify ligaments and tendons,
causing arthritic pains, and may be responsible for the alarming
increase in cases of repetitive stress injury. (Exhibit____)
i. EPA management relied upon a report from the Surgeon General
which they knew was false. This report claimed to represent
conclusions of an expert panel (on which the EPA was present
as an observer) when in fact the concerns of this panel for
the effects of fluoride on the bones of children, for its effects
on the heart, for dental fluorosis, and for the overall lack
of scientific data on the effects of fluoride in US drinking
water were deleted. It has been reported in the press that these
changes were made in the final report without the knowledge
or approval of the expert panel.
j. The EPA accepted the falsified report from the Surgeon General's
office and asked a contractor to turn this into an "assessment."
The contractor dutifully collected only literature that supported
the report. The report was submitted for public comment, but
was never altered to incorporate the volumes of information
sent in by world class experts. Any opinions contrary to the
report were dismissed. The result is actually a "Draft" stamped
11. The apparent coverup of fluoride risks within EPA prompted
the EPA professionals' union, Local 2050 of the National Federation
of Federal Employees, to attempt to file an amicus brief in support
of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who sued EPA in 1986 over
the fluoride standard. I was responsible for managing the preparation
of the brief, which was prepared by the law firm of Lord, Day and
Lord of New York City.
12. EPA has also attempted to silence scientists who do not follow
the party line. Last year, EPA fired Dr.
William L. Marcus, Ph.D. from his job as senior toxicologist
in the Office of Drinking Water, EPA. Judge, David A. Clarke, Jr.,
declared in his decision
on this case on December 3, 1992, that "the reasons given for Dr.
Marcus' firing were a pretext....his employment was terminated because
he publicly questioned and opposed EPA's fluoride policy." Judge
Clark ordered Dr. Marcus to be reinstated and provided with back
pay, fringe benefits and interest, attorneys fees, and payed $50,000
in compensatory damages. I testified at length at this hearing.
13. I believe there is a high probability of significant harm to
public health from fluoridation and that it is unacceptable as a
public health measure.
14. My conclusions regarding the lack of safety of both EPA standards
and of fluoridation are based in part on the following:
A. As noted in my statement to the Subcommittee of the Science
Advisory Board, EPA management relied upon a report from the
Surgeon General which it knew was false. (Exhibit____).
B. Dental fluorosis is considered
a visible sign that potentially destructive effects of fluoride
are also occurring in bone. EPA reported in 1985 that mild dental
fluorosis occurs in areas with fluoride levels in drinking water
as low as 0.2 mg/l. Objectionable dental fluorosis, i.e. pitting
and staining of enamel, was reported by EPA to occur in some
individuals at 0.7 mg/l.
C. Despite this knowledge, EPA, even though aware that the report
of the Surgeon General's expert panel had been altered, nevertheless
followed this altered version and declared in 1985 that dental
fluorosis was not an adverse health effect. Transcripts of the
closed-door testimony of this panel, obtained under the Freedom
of Information Act, show that they in fact voted to declare
dental fluorosis an adverse health effect. Their declaration
was doctored by unknown individuals to achieve a political end:
If objectionable dental fluorosis were declared an adverse health
effect, as it should be, then fluoridation at 0.8 to 1.2 mg/l
would be in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.
D. Crippling skeletal fluorosis is the only adverse health
effect accepted by EPA, and the only one it considered in setting
the MCL of 4 mg/l. According to EPA, this effect occurs when
an individual is exposed to more than 20 mg/day for 20 years
or more. EPA, however, cannot document the rationale for selecting
this effect level in accordance with accepted regulatory procedures.
In fact, the government does not know what level of fluoride
in water can cause crippling skeletal fluorosis. Thus, its 4
mg/l standard has no scientific basis.
E. In violation of standards of scientific conduct requiring
that the MCL protect all citizens, EPA set a level that will
cause crippling skeletal fluorosis in 20 years for about 1%
of the population, according to its own stated toxic dose of
20 mg/day, and its own data showing 1% of the population drinks
more than 5.5 l/day.
F. In further violation of professional ethics, it can also
be demonstrated that EPA did not consider, in deriving its standard,
arthritic pains - the earliest sign of crippling skeletal fluorosis,
and did not derive a safe dose for this effect. Thus, while
recommending the addition of fluoride to drinking water, the
government does not know the lowest effect level for this stage
of the disease. There was evidence available to EPA in 1985,
which it ignored, that exposure to fluoride at 1 mg/l in drinking
water over a long period of time calcifies ligaments and tendons
causing arthritic pains, and may be responsible for the alarming
increase in cases of repetitive stress injury.
G. It is clear that fluoride is mutagenic, and that it may
well cause cancer, although both are continuously denied by
the government. Buried in the report of the National Toxicology
Program study on the effects of fluoride in rats and mice were
the results of a battery of four genetic toxicology studies
showing fluoride to be a mutagen. Three studies were positive
for mutagenicity and one was negative. The negative study was
invalid based on testimony of the originator of the test itself,
Dr. Bruce Ames.
15. It is my best judgment, reached with a high degree of scientific
certainty, that fluoridation presents unacceptable risks to public
health, and that the government cannot prove its claims of safety.
Why the EPA's Headquarters Union of Scientists