Environmental groups petition EPA to retract fluoride pesticide tolerances on food
Two national environmental organizations, Environmental Working Group and Beyond Pesticides, joined today with the Fluoride Action Network in challenging the safety of new food tolerances issued by the EPA for the fluoride based pesticide, sulfuryl fluoride. This action marks growing concern among mainstream scientists and environmental organizations that total exposure to fluoride, from water, food, and dental uses like toothpaste and rinses, is not safe for vulnerable populations, particularly young children.
The challenge was directed at the maximum legal limits for the fluoride-based pesticide in foods, which have been set at levels that dwarf the amount allowed in tap water. In just one case, the EPA is allowing 900 parts per million of fluoride in dried eggs, as opposed to the maximum 4 ppm allowed in tap water. One third of the nation's eggs are sold and consumed in dried, reconstituted form.
The groups noted that 900 ppm set for dried eggs is extremely close to that used in toothpaste (1,000 ppm), a level that is considered toxic if consumed in greater than pea sized portions. "How can the EPA consider 900 ppm in eggs safe, while the Food and Drug Administration directs parents to call poison control centers if their children consume more than a pea sized portion of toothpaste with fluoride at 1,000 ppm?" asked Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of FAN. "Unlike toothpaste, eggs are meant to be eaten, not spit out."
The precise FDA required label on toothpastes with fluoride levels of 1000 ppm is:
"WARNING: Do not swallow. Use only a pea-sized amount for children under six. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately."
The EPA has set fluoride tolerances for over 200 foodstuffs ranging from 5 ppm in cheese all the way up to 900 ppm in powdered eggs. The groups warn that at the maximum level of fluoride a serving of scrambled eggs made with as few as two egg equivalents could make a child vomit and a four egg omelet could have the same effect on an adult.
Source: Environmental Media Services