Local Anti-Fluoride Activist Gains Some Credibility


HHS and EPA today recommend
lowering amount of fluoride in the
drinking water.

Hayward Councilman Bill Quirk has tussled with anti-flouride activist Wynn Grcich in the past. So has Fremont Councilman Bill Harrison. Anu Natarajan, another Fremont councilmember, blurted out last Tuesday that Grcich’s monthly, often times, disjointed rants on the dangers of water fluoridation were a reason for people to not use drugs. But, recent reports, say Grcich and other other water safety activists are on to something.

The Hayward resident is well-known throughout city council chambers from Palo Alto, Millbrae to monthly appearances in both Fremont and Hayward. Her rapid-fire three minutes of public comment (she routinely uses more of her allotted time) is often among the night’s brief moments of levity.

Grcich has long argued with city administrators in Hayward that fluoridation of the city’s water supply is harmful to the health of the community. To illustrate her point, she often carries handouts for anyone who will listen. Undoubtedly, her argument regarding the use of fluoride nearly always ends in the rejoinder, “If it isn’t dangerous, why do they need hazmat suits to handle it?”

According to Grcich, the use of fluoride in our drinking water is poisoning residents, leading to birth defects and causing crippling skeletal deformities. A report published today appears to put a mainstream argument backing Grcich’s tireless complaints. The Department of Health and Human Services said Friday it lower the recommended amount of fluoride in the nation’s water supply to 0.7 milligrams per liter. The Environmental Protection Agency is also looking into lowering its minimum standard.

An Associated Press report Friday detailed that 41 percent of children and young adults have tooth discoloration, known as fluorosis, which is due to a high level of fluoride in their diets. The report also details scientific findings pointing to bone abnormalities and brittleness. An Ohio woman who five years ago fought back plans in Springfield, Ohio to add fluoride to its drinking water would respect the ridiculed beliefs of activists like Grcich. “Anybody who was anti-fluoride was considered crazy at the time,” she said. In fact, critics of fluoride has always been derided as kooks of the fringe. People enamored with government conspiracies and mind-control schemes than partaking in rationale conversation.

Councilmembers in both Fremont and Hayward merely sit back, eyes glazed when Grcich ambles to the podium. In Hayward, she often uses the overhead projector provided by the city to display a hastily scribbled web site while she speaks. On occasion, though, Hayward’s Quirk, who has professional scientific background will argue with Grcich to no avail along with city officials who late last year detailed a reported a minuscule appearance of a naturally-occurring bacteria found in the city’s drinking water. The city denied any assertion the bacteria posed any health threats, but it gave Grcich a good reason to rant.

Grcich may have difficulty in collecting adherents to her beliefs because of her style, but with the government’s recent statements, maybe it’s time for local governments to stop portraying citizens like Grcich as the village idiot and instead discuss whether the health of its residents is at stake because of over-fluoridation.


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