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ADA says no compelling evidence associating fluoride, bone cancer

January 15, 2016

Research Triangle Park, N.C. — The Association Jan. 15 told the National Toxicology Program there is no compelling evidence that fluoride is associated with osteosarcoma. 

“For the last 70 years, people have raised well-meaning questions about the safety and effectiveness of fluoride, including whether fluoride is somehow associated with cancer,” wrote ADA President Carol Gomez Summerhays and ADA Executive Director Kathleen O’Loughlin in a letter to National Toxicology Program director Ruth Lunn, Dr.P.H. “However, we are not convinced a sufficient number of new high-quality studies are currently available to produce a high-quality systematic review at this time.”

On Oct. 7, the National Toxicology Program published a Federal Register notice requesting preliminary information about whether six substances, including fluoride, could possibly pose a cancer risk. Several members of the public petitioned the agency to profile fluoride in future editions of its annual Report on Carcinogens.

The U.S. Public Health Service recently noted the available literature does not support classifying fluoride as a carcinogen, according to guidelines published in the July-August 2015 edition of the journal Public Health Reports.

“In the nine months since the USPHS announced there was no compelling evidence that fluoride is associated with osteosarcoma, we are not convinced a sufficient number of new high-quality studies have been published to generate a high-quality systematic review,” wrote Drs. Summerhays and O’Loughlin.

The ADA officials suggested the public would benefit from further study about the therapeutic range of water fluoridation up to limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In December 2015, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. surgeon general, issued a statement commemorating the 70th anniversary of community water fluoridation, hailing it one of the safest and most beneficial public health measures communities can take to prevent tooth decay.

Additional information is available at ADA.org/fluoride.