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Letter from Kathleen Thiessen to Rep. Sensenbrenner

SENES Oak Ridge Inc.

Center for Risk Analysis

March 30, 1999

The Honorable F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
2332 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515-4909

Dear Representative Sensenbrenner:

I have been informed that the House Science Committee has expressed interest in the issue of the fluoridation of public water supplies. I have recently been reviewing the available scientific literature on the health effects of fluoride, initially in response to a request that came before the Lee County (Florida) School Board, on which my father serves. I authored a USEPA report on the health effects of airborne fluoride in 1988, but there is considerably more information available now than there was at that time.

My review to date, although admittedly not exhaustive, suggests that fluoride may in fact do more harm than good, particularly to individuals with high water intake (e.g., diabetics or athletes) or impaired kidney function (i.e., with reduced clearance of fluoride from the body). In addition, the USEPA’s present Maximum Contaminant Level for fluoride in drinking water is probably not protective of these sensitive individuals.

In the interest of public health, therefore, I encourage your committee to support an objective evaluation of the potential benefits and hazards of fluoride in public water supplies.

I would appreciate being on any mailing or distribution list that your committee has on the fluoride issue. Also, if I or my colleagues can be of assistance to your committee, for example, by providing an independent literature review, please do not hesitate to call us.


Kathleen M. Thiessen, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
(423) 483-6111 (o)
(423) 482-3731 (h)

cc: The Honorable Bart Gordon

Last modified: 10 July 1999

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