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Fluoride Will Not Be Added to the List of Known Carcinogens California Proposition 65 Ruling

Enacted as a ballot initiative in 1986, Proposition 65 is intended to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals. It requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity. More than 800 chemicals have been added to the Proposition 65 list since it took effect. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) administers meetings of the Cancer Identification Committee (CIC) and the Proposition 65 listing process. On May 29, 2009, fluoride and its salts were selected by OEHHA for review by the CIC. Fluoride was identified as one of five high priority chemicals to be evaluated. A 60-day public comment period was established with a closing date of December 15th. On July 8, 2011, as the next step of the Proposition 65 process, the CIC released a hazard identification document, Evidence on the Carcinogenicity of Fluoride and its Salts. This document was developed to inform the CIC about fluoride carcinogenicity and was used in its deliberations on whether or not fluoride should be listed under Proposition 65. A second public comment period was opened that garnered 60 comments for and against adding fluoride to the Proposition 65 warning list. A variety of private citizens, health care professionals and organizations offered input on the matter, including the California Dental Association, the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the ADA. At a public meeting on October, 12, 2011, the CIC heard additional testimony and then voted on the question, Do you believe that it has been clearly shown, through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles, that fluoride causes cancer? The CICs vote was unanimous (6-0) that fluoride and its salts had not been clearly shown to cause cancer. A synopsis of the October 12th meeting is available on the Web at http://oehha.ca.gov/prop65/public_meetings/cic101211synop.html Additional information regarding the Prop 65 process is available on the Web at http://www.oehha.ca.gov/prop65.html This decision was the second time this year that fluoride was evaluated as a carcinogen and not found to be one. In October 2011 a study published in the Journal of Dental Research found fluoride levels are not associated with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer more prevalent in young males. A team of researchers from Harvard University, the Medical College of Georgia and the National Cancer Institute analyzed over a hundred bone samples from nine hospitals over an eight-year period from patients with osteosarcoma and a control group to measure fluoride levels in the bone. Considered the most extensive study to date that examines a potential association between fluoride levels in bone and osteosarcoma, the results indicated no correlation. Three branches of the National Institutes of Health were involved in the study. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) approved the design of the study, and funding for the research was provided by the NCI, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. The study is available at http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/90/10/1171

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