Windsor Essex County Environment Committee Voted in Favour of Recommending the City Cease Artificial Water Fluoridation
With the expert help of Heather Gingerich, Director of the Canadian Chapter of the International Medical Geology Association, Fluoride Free Windsor presented the Environmental Effects & Legal Implications of the artificial water fluoridation program to the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee. A lively discussion and question period followed the presentation. A motion was moved by Kingsville Deputy Mayor, Tamara Stomp, for the committee to recommend to Windsor, Tecumseh and Lasalle that they cease artificial water fluoridation. How does artificial water fluoridation impact the environment?:
Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is NOT Naturally Occurring
Fluoride Free Windsor provided details on how hydrofluorosilicic acid is derived, that it is actually a hazardous toxic waste product from the phosphate fertilizer industry . Artificial water fluoridation proponents like to say that fluoride is naturally occurring but that isn’t what we dump into our water supply and our environment. Fluoride Free Windsor presented details of the significant chemical and biological differences between naturally occurring calcium fluoride and man-made hydrofluorosilicic acid.
Dilution is NOT a Solution to Pollution
Hydrolysis in water does nothing to mitigate the toxicity of the fluoride ion. Essentially, we bring in a small volume of a high-grade toxic substance from another country (sometimes the U.S., more often with off-shoring, China) and transform it into a larger volume of a lower-grade toxic substance in our own backyard. The product is classified as a toxic substance by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, it is bio-accumulative, toxic, anthropogenic and persistent.
Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is NOT Removed by Waste-water Treatment Plants
It would be far too costly to remove fluoridating chemicals and the co-contaminants from waste water. The committee was presented information that showed nearly all of the hydrofluorosilicic acid the city purchases as mass medication ends up directly in our environment and is not ingested as drinking water. For every 100 trucks brought into the city, 99 of them go back to our waterways as less than 1% is ingested. Further, the hydrofluorosilicic acid is contaminated with arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and radionuclides.
With most of this toxin going into the environment, are the guidelines protective of aquatic species?
Environment Committee members were shown a comparison of the Health Canada Drinking Water Standards to the Environment Canada Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Species. It is clear from this comparison that Human drinking water standards do not protect the environment nor species at risk. And swaying from the environmental impact for just a moment, consider that infants need protection at levels more closely resembling those of aquatic species (they are after all little aquatic species when they start out), especially formula fed infants that get an incredibly higher dose of fluoride than breastfed infants and most other water drinkers.
What does Health Canada have against Species at Risk?
The Species at Risk Act states that cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of species should not be post-poned for lack of full scientific certainty. Conservation of wildlife species and their habitat should be supported and protecting habitat includes protecting at risk species’ food supply. Fluoride disrupts the food web of protected species and is therefore against federal law.
Turtles are an Indicator Species, If their Populations are Crashing the next to be affected are Mammals.
First Nations communities understand these relationships and called North America Turtle Island. The decline of native turtle populations is highly significant. Seven of our eight indigenous turtle species are at risk. The Environment Canada Water Quality Standard for the Protection of Aquatic Species is set at 0.12mg/l which is the LD50 for the caddisfly (the lethal dose for which 50% of the species dies). The caddisfly is a key feeder species for small fish like the protected Eastern Sand Darter, which feed the crayfish, which feed the protected Spiny Softshell Turtle; see a simplified food chain:
Health Canada will NOT shield the City from Liability.
The municipality is open to legal action from the Federal government through the Department of Fisheries & Oceans; from the Provincial government through the Ministry of Environment; from environment protection groups such as the Sierra Club, Environmental Defence Fund and the Council of Canadians; from First Nations communities and even insurance providers due to the corrosive nature of artificial water fluoridation chemicals in water supply infrastructures.
Windsor Utilities Commission can end artificial water fluoridation when the city passes a by-law instructing them to. Legislation to this end comes from the Clean Water Act which protects drinking water by stopping contaminants from entering the water. And the Act empowers communities to take action to prevent threats from becoming significant. With 7 of the 8 indigenous turtle species at risk how much more significant a threat do we need?
Ideally there would be baseline studies taken before this experiment began and we’d have continuous downstream monitoring to ensure safe levels are not exceeded as well as a guarantee that the water that is discharged back into the Detroit River from the Windsor sewage treatment plant is the same or better than the water we take from it in terms of protecting aquatic life – but these ideals are not feasible. So, for the sake of protecting the city from future liability with respect to environmental damage Fluoride Free Windsor recommended that the Environment Committee recommend to the councils of Lasalle, Tecumseh and Windsor to pass a by-law to cease artificial water fluoridation which will then allow the Windsor Utilities Commission to apply for an amendment to their license; making our water supply safer for the caddisfly, the eastern darter fish and the spiny softshell turtle – not to mention the rest of us.
To learn more please check out this amazing article by Heather Gingerich titled Turtle Wisdom for a Fast-Paced World: Decision-Making Using Medical Geology and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge.
Additional Resources and the Growing List of Organizations Committed to Environmental Restoration by ending artificial water fluoridation: