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Fluoride-Free Water Closer Than Ever


Fluoride-Free Water Closer Than Ever

By Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh


Healdsburg is the only town in Sonoma County that fluoridates its water. In the 2014 Measure M campaign to stop fluoridation, and the 2016 Measure T campaign to require safety-related information on Healdsburg's fluoridation chemical, the California Dental Association (CDA), almost exclusively, funded both campaigns to keep fluoridation, swamping the many small local contributions for safe water.

Measure T didn't pass, but it was worth the effort. The evidence is in the numbers: in 2016 the safe water position gained 966 votes, and gained 7.4% points, over the 2014 Measure M results. Education takes time, and significant progress is being made in Healdsburg.


Sonoma County residents should be heartened because three other cities have officially rejected fluoridation, which will probably prevent future attempts to fluoridate through the Sonoma County Water Agency (SCWA). However, on September 25, 2016, the Sonoma County Department of Public Health declared a renewed focus on fluoridating Santa Rosa. Let's keep our eyes open.


On November 22, 2016, the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT), Fluoride Action Network (FAN), and others, hand delivered to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a petition, accompanied by over 2,500 pages of scientific documentation, to ban the use of fluoridation chemicals because of the neurotoxic risks of fluoride ingestion.

EPA's Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gives EPA the authority and duty to prohibit the “particular use” of any chemical that presents an unreasonable risk to the general public or susceptible subpopulations, including the authority to prohibit drinking water additives.

Historically, when a chemical has evidence of neurotoxicity, for example lead, it has been banned. In 2014, EPA added fluoride to its short list of chemicals, including arsenic and lead, with scientific evidence of developmental neurotoxic harm to humans. 

The Petition presents a comprehensive list of human, animal and cell studies on fluoride's neurotoxicity, 196 of the studies published since 2006 alone. The amount of fluoride from all sources, regularly consumed in fluoridated U.S. water districts, exceeds the levels that cause IQ loss. The scientific evidence meets TSCA requirements, more than enough for EPA to halt fluoridation of tap water. From the date it received the petition, EPA has 90 days to respond. If EPA does not comply with its own policy, a lawsuit will follow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, California Certified Nutrition Educator, is Executive Director of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin (501c4) and Clean Water Sonoma-Marin Charitable Trust (501c3), working for toxin-free water, and practical, nontoxic solutions to children's oral health challenges. CONTACT: phone 707-547-7006


ADA Fluoridation Spokesman Howard Pollick Recommends Buying Unfluoridated Water For Baby Formula (running time: 00:02:07):

2016 Election Results, Sonoma County Registrar of Voters:

Overview of Petition to EPA: 

Access a copy of the Petition:

Add your name in support of the Petition: