Interview with Fluoride-Foe  Dr. Robert Carton

Dr. Robert Carton


Andrew W. Saul Interviews EPA Dissident



“EPA has more than enough evidence to shut down fluoridation right now.” (Dr. Robert Carton)


“Fluoridation,” says former EPA senior scientist Robert J. Carton, PhD, “presents unacceptable risks to public health, and the government cannot prove its claims of safety. It is clear that fluoride is mutagenic, and that it may well cause cancer. EPA has attempted to silence scientists who do not follow the party line.” ( ) And with that, he is just warming up. “Fluoridation,” he adds, “constitutes unlawful medical research. It is banned in most of Europe; European Union human rights legislation makes it illegal.”


Dr. Carton has considerable experience as a risk assessment manager for the US Environmental Protection Agency, investigating asbestos, arsenic, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene, and, of course, cancer incidence. Then, for ten years, Dr. Carton was with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was Chief of Environmental Compliance, responsible for environmental compliance of the Army’s medical research with the National Environmental Policy Act. He also managed the preparation of environmental assessments of biological and chemical defense laboratories throughout the U.S.. Diametrically opposite of the raving, fictional general in Dr. Strangelove, Bob Carton is the real deal: he has a B.A. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Environmental Science, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University.


When this man talks of fluoridation dangers, it is time to listen. I am pleased to present the following exclusive interview, in edited form, with this outspoken EPA dissenter.


DOCTOR YOURSELF NEWS: Dr. Carton, I have followed, with great appreciation, your stance against fluoridation of water for many years. My comments on fluoridation are posted at , and the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine published .


CARTON: I enjoyed the references you sent.


DY NEWS: How long were you with EPA?


CARTON: 20 years, from 1972 until 1992. I was a Risk Assessment Scientist with the Office of Toxic Substances, and twice president of the EPA Professional Union.


DY NEWS: How popular were you with EPA?


CARTON: I think they tried to ignore me; they considered me “small potatoes.”


DY NEWS: Were you?


CARTON: Well, at a meeting of the drinking water subcommittee of the EPA Science Advisory Board, I basically accused EPA of scientific fraud. You can read that presentation on the web at . When the Natural Resources Defense Council objected to EPA’s 1985 standards (raising the amount of fluoride allowed in water), I convinced the EPA union to file an amicus curiae brief in support of NRDC. ( )




CARTON: Because EPA did not even attempt to go through the scientific process for determining an acceptable daily dose. They tried at great length to avoid nailing down how much fluoride people were actually getting so they could keep marching with the policy of keeping fluoridation going.


DY NEWS: Is this what you mean by fraud?


CARTON: In April 1985, a person writing standards for EPA actually told me, in private, that he was lying. He said he was told to lie, and that he had to do what he had to do to keep his job.




CARTON: That launched me. That is what got me interested.


DY NEWS: EPA’s standard is 4 mg fluoride per liter. That is about 1 mg per cup of water. I have looked in the Physician’s Desk Reference (PDR) and have seen that 1 mg of fluoride can be a prescription dose.


CARTON: Exactly.


DY NEWS: That, to me, says that EPA is allowing a prescription dose of fluoride in a single eight-ounce glass of water. And people are encouraged to drink more than that.


CARTON: Exactly. The variation in consumption is huge. It makes no sense at all. The US Safe Drinking Water Act’s recommended Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for fluoride is 4 mg, which is unenforceable. (MCLG is explained at the EPA's website: ) What is enforceable is the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). It is supposed to be as close to the MCLG as possible, taking economics and feasibility into account. This is a political decision, not a scientific one. For fluoride they are totally linked together. They are both 4 mg/liter.


DY NEWS: The limit and the goal are equal? Is that unusual?


CARTON: Yes. The law says you are supposed to set the goal at the lowest level at which effects may occur, with an adequate margin of safety as well.


DY NEWS: With public safety as their rationale, EPA has taken a hard line on secondhand tobacco smoke. But not the same with fluoride?


CARTON: Nothing is the same with fluoride.


DY NEWS: In regards to smoking, I think very few doctors would say, “If you smoke 40 cigarettes a day, you are safe, but if you smoke 41, you have a problem.”


CARTON: Right.


DY NEWS: So, with fluoride, EPA is saying that 4.0 is OK, but 4.1 is not. And yet there are reported dangers from fluoride at only 1 or 2 mg/liter.


CARTON: Right. The 2006 National Research Council report  ( ) shows this. Artificial water fluoridation is the largest contributor to the daily dose of fluoride received by citizens of the US, according to the NRC report. 162 million Americans have fluoridated drinking water. I am not optimistic about EPA using the NRC report to take the appropriate action to protect public health. If they did, there would be no way to justify artificial fluoridation and it would end.


DY NEWS: My dentist thinks that 1 mg/liter (1 part per million) is absolutely a good idea to prevent tooth decay. But even he thinks that the EPA’s 4 mg/liter (4 ppm) standard is way too high, and unsafe.


CARTON: Even 1 mg/liter (1 ppm) has been shown to produce brain changes identical to those in Alzheimer’s patients. And that is in rats, and rats do not absorb as much as humans. That tells me that the level that would produce those changes in humans is probably a tenth of a milligram per liter.


DY NEWS: Dr. Carton, what level of fluoride in drinking water do you consider safe?


CARTON: Nothing. I think the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal should be zero.


DY NEWS: Let’s say the technology, the money and the will to do it were available. Coming close, being realistic, would you agree that water fluoridation at 0.1 mg/liter is “safe”?


CARTON: I can’t say that’s safe. There is too much information showing detrimental effects. The more you put fluoride in water, the more it gets into all food and beverage products.


DY NEWS: How much fluoride in water is a “good idea to reduce tooth decay”?




DY NEWS: The public often hears that “fluoridation of water has reduced dental cavities by up to two-thirds.”


CARTON: There is no evidence that that is true. Studies have shown no reduction in tooth decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities.


DY NEWS: Dentists I have talked with are largely unaware that even their own profession says that systemic (ingested) fluoride does not strengthen teeth.


DY NEWS: It was the cover story of the July 2000 Journal of the American Dental Association.


DY NEWS: So, since they still vehemently support water fluoridation, does the ADA actually think there is a topical benefit in the range of 1 to 4 ppm? I cannot think of any topical medication that is claimed to be effective at such a dose.


CARTON: When iodine intake is inadequate, just seven-tenths of a milligram (0.7 mg) of fluoride per day has been shown to cause detrimental effects on the thyroid.


DY NEWS: How much of the US population gets seven-tenths of a milligram of fluoride, from all sources, each day?


CARTON: Probably everybody.


DY NEWS: What kind of home water filtration removes fluoride from tap water?


CARTON: Reverse osmosis might, to some degree. Carbon filters do not. (Editor’s note: Doctor Yourself does not recommend or endorse any manufacturer, brand or product, and this interview may not be used by anyone for such a purpose.)


DY NEWS: Why aren’t our elected officials and the EPA looking harder at fluoride dangers?


CARTON: Under no circumstances is the government going to change its mind on water fluoridation.


DY NEWS: Given that, what actions do you recommend?


CARTON: Get fluoride to a public vote. Get a public referendum on the ballot insisting that fluoride be taken out of your local water supply. And, of course, get informed. Look at , which I consider to be the premier source for news and information on the entire subject of fluoride. For insights into the history of fluoride’s protected status, I highly recommended Christopher Bryson’s book, The Fluoride Deception (2004)  (This book is reviewed, and the author interviewed, at . Please scroll down the page about one-third.)


Additionally, the journal Fluoride is another excellent resource. My critique of the National Toxicology Program cancer study was a guest editorial there in 1991. ( ) Additionally, the 1998 memo I wrote to the director of the Gulf War Research program ( ) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command might interest your readers. His response back to me was to mind my own business. In 1998, Dr. Bill Hirzy and I presented a paper about the fraudulent nature of the EPA standard at the National Association of Environmental Professionals Annual Meeting: . Hirzy’s congressional testimony is posted at .


DY NEWS: Dr. Carton, thank you for all this information.


CARTON: Thanks for this opportunity.


Recommended for further reading:


Cross DW, Carton RJ. Fluoridation: a violation of medical ethics and human rights. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2003 Jan-Mar;9(1):24-9.)


Hileman B (1988) Fluoridation of water Chemical & Engineering News (American Chemical Society) 66 (31) 26-42 Aug 1st.


Hill DR. (1997) Fluoride: risks and benefits? Disinformation in the service of big industry. 


Also: and especially

My viewpoint on water fluoridation is posted at  



A well-written and fluoride-skeptical article in Prevention magazine (,,s1-1-74-112-6959-1,00.html ) is coupled with a clickable tool to show you find how much fluoride you are getting: .


In my opinion, you might best read it now, before the ADA pressures it out of there.


Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

For ordering information, Click Here .

Interview and comments copyright 2006 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.


Andrew W. Saul


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