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Healdsburg Water Fluoridation Moratorium Initiative


Healdsburg Water Fluoridation Moratorium Initiative

Signatures are being gathered to put a Water Fluoridation Moratorium Initiative on the Healdsburg ballot for November 2016.

The Initiative calls for a moratorium on water fluoridation until the manufacturer of Healdsburg’s fluoridating chemical provides specified information about the chemical, including verification of its safety for ingestion by all consumers, regardless of an individual consumer’s age, size, diet, or health.

If the documents don’t exist, or if the manufacturer chooses not to provide them, the moratorium would continue, and District water would not be fluoridated.


The initiative sponsors are dentist Michael Lipelt, organic vineyard owner Barbara Wentzel, and campaign coordinator Jeannie Rudd, who says, “Setting aside whether we believe fluoridation might reduce cavities, we all want to be sure the water we’re drinking is safe. So far, valid safety studies have not been provided. That’s the reason we’re going to the ballot.” 

In 2014, local dentists assured voters that water fluoridation is safe and effective, and, according to the Press Democrat, the California Dental Association (CDA) spent a staggering amount, more than $45,000 to keep Healdsburg water fluoridated, compared with less than $3000 raised by fluoridation opponents. The surprise is not that a barrage of glossy CDA-funded mailers made a difference, but that there were only 2,650 votes in support of water fluoridation.

Uninformed dentists persist in the belief that water fluoridation is safe and effective, but many dentists have looked at the evidence and changed their minds. Concerned Healdsburg residents and other consumers of Healdsburg water have been looking at the evidence too.

No evidence that Healdsburg fluoridation is effective

The Sonoma County Health Department published the results of its “(Draft) Oral Health Screening of Healdsburg Kindergarten and Third Graders,” the first to compare the “decay experience” of some kindergarteners and third graders in Healdsburg (tap water fluoridated since the early 1950s) with some kindergarteners and third graders in the rest of Sonoma County (tap water never fluoridated), and found no significant difference in children’s tooth decay rates.

2015 Published Studies

(A) a prestigious new review found no recent or high quality research proving fluoridation reduces tooth decay, but did find that 40% of children in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis (Cochrane Health Group, 2015).This finding is alarming because:

(B) a study headed by a Harvard scientist found that children with dental fluorosis, even those with very mild dental fluorosis, performed less well on an intelligence test than children without fluorosis (Choi et al., 2015);

(C) US HHS announced its recommendation that water fluoride levels be lowered to 0.7 mg/L, because, under previously recommended levels, at least 41% of young teenagers in the U.S. have visible dental fluorosis (tooth enamel damage from ingesting fluoride);

(D) US NTP outlined the studies it plans to conduct on fluoride, to clarify fluoride’s effects on learning and memory and the doses at which these effects can occur (Thayer, 2015), in response to the 

(E) US EPA listing fluoride as one of 22 chemicals with “significant evidence of neurotoxicity,” including “significant documented human evidence of harm” (Mundy, et al., 2015); and 

(F) the first study to systemically examine the relationship between a behavioral disorder and water fluoridation (Malin and Till, 2015) found that U.S. states with higher rates of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD.

An accurate list of all contaminants

In addition to the manufacturer’s toxicological report on the fluoridating chemical, and written statement verifying the chemical’s safety for ingestion by all water consumers, the initiative would require an accurate list of all contaminants and their amounts accompanying each batch of the chemical sold to the City of Healdsburg.

Because fluoridation chemicals are a byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry, in addition to fluoride, fluoridation chemicals contain a number of toxic contaminants. Fluoridation chemical certification deals only with average concentrations per contaminant. “However...each raw additive batch supplied to water facilities does not come labeled with concentrations per contaminant. This omission distorts exposure profiles and the risks associated with accidents and routine use.” (Mullenix 2014).

Before dentist Bill Osmunson studied the science on water fluoridation for himself, he promoted fluoridation for over 25 years. Now Dr. Osmunson says, “Dental caries can be treated, but medical disorders such as lower IQ are not treatable. Would you rather lower IQ or risk of half a dental filling?” 

For over 60 years Healdsburg has fluoridated its municipal water without addressing the issue of safety. 

Even someone who believes fluoridation reduces tooth decay has a right to full information, to know and weigh promised benefits against documented risks. What medical professional would not want to know? 

To sign the initiative or to help gather signatures to qualify the initiative for the November 2016 ballot, or for answers to any questions, please call campaign coordinator Jeannie Rudd: 707-542-1723.


“The City of Healdsburg shall institute a moratorium on all municipal water fluoridation until such time as the manufacturer supplying the fluoridating chemical provides to the public 1) an accurate list of all contaminants and their amounts accompanying each batch sold to the City of Healdsburg, 2) a detailed toxicological report on the fluoridating chemical, and 3) a written statement verifying the chemical’s safety for ingestion by all water consumers, once introduced into the water supply.“


Reference: Healdsburg Water Fluoridation Moratorium Initiative

1. Notice of Intent to Circulate Petition, and Healdsburg City Attorney’s Title and Summary, were published in The Healdsburg Tribune (11/19/2015).

Notes and References: Background

2. Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood, DDS, is quoted on the City Council’s decision to remain non-responsive to fluoridation opponents’ requests for information or action. “Council steps back on fluoride debate” by Kerrie Lindecker Tribune Editor. The Healdsburg Tribune (7/23/2014)

3. Some Healdsburg dentists supporting fluoridation in 2014 included:

Healdsburg Mayor Jim Wood, DDS, is quoted on his support for fluoridation in  “Council steps back on fluoride debate” by Kerrie Lindecker Tribune Editor. The Healdsburg Tribune (7/23/2014).

William Conklin, DDS, wrote “Healthy Teeth.” Healdsburg Letters to the Editor. The Healdsburg Tribune (7/24/14).

Sean Widick, DDS. Dr. Widick, assisted by ADA national fluoridation spokesman Professor Howard Pollick, spoke for Proposition P at the League of Women Voters forum. “League of Women Voters sponsor Ballot Measure P discussion.“ Clean Water Sonoma-Marin. (9/30/2014).

Dr. Widick is quoted in “Both sides of fluoride debate baring teeth” by Jenna Polito. The Healdsburg Tribune (10/8/2014). 

Local pro-fluoridation dentists are listed in an ad funded by the California Dental Association:

“Local dentists, physicians, nurses and dental hygienists stand united behind Measure P!...Paid for by Yes on P – Save Our Smiles, sponsored and funded by the California Dental Association.” Full page full color ad in The Healdsburg Tribune (10/30/2014)

4. Some dentists have looked at the evidence on both sides and changed their minds, for example:

“Interview with Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH.” Dr. Osmunson explains why he stopped supporting water fluoridation after having been an active fluoridation advocate for over 25 years. Clean Water Sonoma-Marin (9/20/2014).

Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, Bsc, former Head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, a professor with a PhD in Biochemistry, and a practicing dentist, and in 2006, Dr. Limeback was one of the 12 scientists who served on the National Academy of Sciences panel that issued “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of the EPA’s Standards (NRC 2006). Clean Water Sonoma-Marin.

5. Proposition P campaign funding figures: “Healdsburg Voters Support Fluoride” by Clark Mason. The Press Democrat (11/4/2014).

6. “Measure P – Healdsburg.” November 4, 2014 Election Results. Registrar of Voters, County of Sonoma (11/5/2014).

Reference:  No evidence that Healdsburg fluoridation is effective

7. “(Draft) 2014 Oral Health Screening of Healdsburg Kindergarten and Third Graders Sonoma County Department of Health Services.” Sonoma County Department of Health Services (11/10/2014).

8. References:  Studies and announcements published in 2015

(A) ”Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries.“ Z. Iheozor-Ejiofor, Cochrane Oral Health Group (6/18/2015).

“Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities, Scientific Review Shows, by Douglas Main. Newsweek (6/29/2015).

(B) “Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Anna L. Choi, et al. Neurotoxicology and Teratology (Jan-Feb. 2015).

(C) “HHS issues final recommendation for community water fluoridation: Adjusted level seeks to maintain dental health benefits of fluoride.” HHS Press Office,  U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (April 27, 2015).

”U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries.” Reports and Recommendations. Public Health Reports (July–August 2015), Volume 130, page 10.

(D) “Concept: Proposed NTP Evaluation on Fluoride Exposure and Potential for 

Developmental Neurobehavioral Effects.” Presentation by Dr. Kristina Thayer, NIEHS/DNTP. NTP Webinar (December 2, 2015).

NTP Conference Agenda.

(E) “Expanding the test set: Chemicals with potential to disrupt mammalian brain development.” EPA Review article. Neurotoxicology and Teratology 52 (2015) 25 / William R. Mundy, et al. PDF. 

“Building a Database of Developmental Neurotoxicants: Evidence from Human and Animal Studies.” EPA Chart. W. Mundy, et al. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. PDF.

“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)

F) “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association.“ Ashley J. Malin and Christine Till. Environmental Health (2015 14:17 (2/27/2015)

“Water Fluoridation May Increase Risk of Underactive Thyroid Disorder” by Douglas Main. Tech & Science. Newsweek (2/24/15).

Notes and References:  An accurate list of all contaminants

9. “A new perspective on metals and other contaminants in fluoridation chemicals.” by Phyllis J. Mullinex. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Vol.20 No.2  (3/20/2014)

Letter: US EPA to George Glasser (4/2/1998). 

“In the United States, there are no Federal safety standards which are applicable to drinking water additives, including those intended for use in fluoridating water. In the past, the EPA assisted the States and public water systems through the issuance of advisory opinions on acceptability of many additive chemicals. However, the Federal advisory program was terminated on October 4, 1988, and EPA assisted in establishment of voluntary product standards at NSF International (NSF) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/NSF Standard 60: Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals - Health Effects was developed at NSF by a consortium of representatives from utilities. government, manufacturers and the public health community. The first edition of the Standard was issued in 1988. Standard 60 applies to all direct additive chemicals for potable water including sodium fluoride. hydrofluosilicic acid and sodium fluosilicate. At the present time, both NSF and Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) evaluate additive products against standard 60 criteria and publish a listing of those products that meet the requirements of the Standard. You can contact NSF or UL for information on specific fluosilicate products.”