The ruling on an ongoing legal battle regarding community water fluoridation has been postponed as new data has been published this year. 

U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen in the Northern District of California has postponed further proceedings in the case of whether or not the level of fluoride in community drinking water brings risk to public health. Chen delayed the case so the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can further examine new data about the chemical's health risks, according to Bloomberg Law

The Bloomberg report added that the National Academies of Science is expected to publish an additional study later this year. 

In 2016, the Food & Water Watch and several other national organizations petitioned the EPA to fulfill responsibilities under the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) regulations by banning the addition of fluoridation chemicals to water.

The EPA denied the petition, which the organizations followed by by suing the agency in 2017.

Gloucester resident Karen Favazza Spencer, a member of Food & Water Watch, testified in the original petition as she credits community water fluoridation to be a leading factor in her own medical complications.

Spencer has been advocating that the act of putting fluoride in community drinking water can lead to learning disabilities, lowered IQ, and signifiant loss in cognitive functions for babies. 

According to Bloomberg Law, Chen suggested that the plaintiffs file a new petition, or the agency reconsider the 2016 petition. 

The federal court will hold a status conference on the case on Aug. 6. 

Staff writer Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

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