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UPDATE: Medical Officer of Health’s Comments are FALSE and MISLEADING

On our last blog post of November 19th we shared what our local Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Heimann, said on the AM800 CKLW Lynn Martin program as to the product hydrofluorosilicic acid.  Dr. Heimann admitted that the product was not regulated by Health Canada.  He went on to say:

The products which are used in Ontario are regulated under the Fluoridation Act of 1990 and the Safe Water Drinking Act.”

But is this true?  This is the leading authority advising our Windsor Council and Windsor Utilities Commission regarding artificial water fluoridation. Should Council and WUC rely solely on the Public Health Unit when making decisions to medicate the water supply of all citizens? Is Dr. Heimann’s endorsement of artificial water fluoridation based on science or opinion?  Our water began being medicated at the request of  the Health Unit alone – without consultation or consent of the citizens of Windsor.

We heard Dr. Heimann claim that fluoride was naturally occurring but the product used in artificial water fluoridation, hydrofluorosilicic acid, is man-made industrial waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry – definitely not the naturally occurring calcium fluoride.

Can we trust the opinion and endorsements coming from Dr. Heimann and the Health Unit?

Carole Clinch, founder and research coordinator of People For Safe Drinking Water  filed a formal complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario regarding False and Misleading Statements made by Dr. Heimann on the AM800 Lynn Martin program regarding artificial water fluoridation.

Clinch states in her formal complaint with respect to Dr. Heimann’s comments on AM800 CKLW Lynn Martin show on Nov 2, 2011, when asked “The products that are used have been regulated and approved by Health Canada?”:

Dr. Heimann’s statement

Health Canada doesn’t specifically have a regulatory requirement for this particular product. The products which are used in Ontario are regulated under the Fluoridation Act of 1990 and the Safe Water Drinking Act.”

Dr. Heimann knows, or should know, that Health Canada is required to regulate and approve all products used for medical treatment, which use health claims, under the Food and Drugs Act and its associated regulations.

Dr. Heimann knows, or should know, that the products used for artificial water fluoridation are not specifically regulated under either the Fluoridation Act or the Safe Drinking Water Act.

 A quick look at the Fluoridation Act  will demonstrate that there is absolutely no reference made to the actual products used in artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilic acid or Sodium silicofluoride). The only reference to fluoride products is “fluoride ions”.

 An examination of the Safe Drinking Water Act (please consult a lawyer and confirm for yourself) will demonstrate that the actual products trucked to your drinking water facility are not regulated by the Ontario government under this legislation.

 The following are statements from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment which clarify the situation: “MOE has no jurisdiction over the manufacture or sale of drinking water treatment chemicals.” Source: June 11, 2007 email correspondence written by Mirek Tybinkowski, M.Eng., P.Eng, Water & Wastewater Specialist, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

 “The MOE’s only authority lies in ensuring (in the approval and inspection processes) that fluoridation equipment is appropriately installed, operated and monitored.” Source: Feb 18, 2009 email correspondence written by Mirek Tybinkowski, M.Eng., P.Eng, Water & Wastewater Specialist, Safe Drinking Water Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Dr. Heimann’s Statement

Artificial water fluoridation is “safe and effective”

 The scientific/legal determination of safety is based on 2 types of research: 1. Animal studies (toxicology studies)  2. Human studies (randomized, controlled clinical trials are the gold standard)

The actual fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation (silicofluorides Na2SiF6, H2SiF6) have neither the required animal studies nor the required human studies to demonstrate safety. Until 2010 there were NO TOXICOLOGY STUDIES available which examined the long-term use of these products. There are now available two (2) recently published toxicological studies 1,2 demonstrating health harm from the long-term use of these products.

The actual fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation (silicofluorides Na2SiF6, H2SiF6) is used as a “medical treatment to prevent disease” according to Health Canada, for a “special health purpose,” according to the Supreme Court of Canada, yet it has never been regulated or approved by Health Canada. All other fluoride products used for dental care are regulated under the Food and Drugs Act. (see above for citations)

In the absence of any studies demonstrating safety, but the availability of 2 recent toxicology studies (see footnotes 1 and 2 and discussion below) showing health harm, the claims that these products are “safe” are not based on well-established scientific protocols designed to protect public safety.

In the absence of any studies demonstrating safety, the claims that these products are “safe” are not based on legal definitions and requirements designed to protect public safety.

A formal complaint was filed with the Auditor General of Canada on May 26, 2011 regarding the unregulated fluoride products used in artificial water fluoridation. Executive Summary available from: http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/Canada_Request_for_Audit_2011_Executive_Summary.pdf

Due diligence

The performance of due diligence before lending your profession’s credibility (or your provincial office authority) to your statements would have revealed the facts noted herein.

It should be noted that under the Physician Services Agreement ratified in October 2008, Medical Officer of Health in Ontario make between $252,037.50 and $294,937.50 per year. In comparison, the annual capita income for citizens in Windsor-Essex county in 2007 was $30,900 according to the Windsor-Essex quick fact sheet 

Implications for misleading council and the public:

  • It is insulting to council members who work so hard to serve the public interest;
  • It is insulting to the taxpayers who pay the salaries of individuals or organizations who present this misinformation.

There 2 possible explanations for why individuals or organizations distribute False and Misleading information:

  1. Individuals/organizations do not have sufficient expertise on this issue, as implied by their position of authority; OR
  2. Individuals/organizations are intentionally misleading the public.

The content of this letter puts into question Dr. Heimann’s advice and opinions as being based on factual evidence.

Perhaps you were simply unaware of the facts contradicting your statements, or your testimony may have been intended as opinion, rather than a factual representation, for which you certainly have the right of expression.

I cordially request that Dr. Heimann make a public statement on the AM 800 CKLW, the Lynn Martin Show, that his opinions were not based on the facts available.

Yours truly,

Carole Clinch

Citations

1. Leite GAS, Sawan GMM, Teofilo JM, Port IM, Sousa FB, Gerlach RF. Exposure to lead exacerbates dental fluorosis. Archives of Oral Biology 2011, doi:10.1016/j.archoralbio.2010.12.011

2. Sawan RM, Leite GA, Saraiva MC, Barbosa F, Tanus-Santos JE, Gerlach RF. Fluoride increases lead concentrations in whole blood and in calcified tissues from lead-exposed rats. Toxicology 2010;271(1-2):21-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20188782

Further, Clinch was able to get confirmation directly from the Ministry of Environment that the claims made by Dr. Heimann were indeed FALSE:

Dear Ms. Clinch,

1. Are the products which are used in Ontario for artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilicic acid and Sodium silicofluorde) regulated specifically under the Fluoridation Act of 1990?
Answer: The Fluoridation Act (1990) does not regulate products used for artificial water fluoridation.

2. Are the products which are used in Ontario for artificial water fluoridation (Hexafluorosilicic acid and Sodium silicofluoride) regulated specifically by the Ministry of the Environment under the Safe Water Drinking Act of Ontario?
Answer: The products used for artificial water fluoridation are not regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (2002).

3. Does the Ministry of the Environment have any jurisdiction over the manufacture and sale of products used as a medical treatment?                                                                                                                                                Answer: No. The manufacture and sale of products used for medical treatment do not fall within the scope of the Ministry of the Environment’s mandate.

Thank you for your email.
Steve Klose
Director, Standards Development Branch
Ministry of the Environment
40 St. Clair Ave. W. 7th floor
Toronto, Ontario

Who can council trust if they can’t trust the Public Health Unit?

What information should Windsor Utilities Commission rely on when deciding whether to medicate the water supply of its customers?

We will soon find out when the Windsor Utilities Commission releases its report on artificial water fluoridation.

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Get to know your Tooth Medicine

The prescription pad says

Fluoride is safe and effective for preventing tooth decay and artificial water fluoridation is a cost effective means of getting this medicine out to the population.  So says the government health and dental agencies. But they don’t define what ‘fluoride’ they’re talking about when they speak in favour of the artificial water fluoridation program. So, let’s get to know the fluoride that is actually put in our water supply as medicine for our teeth.

The product Windsor Utilities Commission has decided to use is called hydrofluorosilicic acid and ours comes from Solvay Chemicals. This particular product is not a pharmaceutical grade product, like you’d find in your dentist’s office.  Rather, it is an industrial grade product that is otherwise known as a waste or by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry.  A short history of how this product came to be:

In the 1960’s Florida passed laws restricting air emissions because the fluorine from the phosphate industry was found to be harming citrus trees and causing fluorosis in cattle. Wet scrubbers were introduced to phosphate manufacturing to remove two highly toxic gases that were damaging the local vegetation and animals: hydrogen fluoride (HF) and silicon tetra fluoride (SiF).  A spray of water is able to capture the gases and convert them to a solution of hydrofluorosilicic acid (H2SiFS or HFSA).  When the solution reaches a concentration of about 23% it is shipped untreated to be used as the fluoridating agent[i]

The answer to air pollution is tooth medicine?  To make matters more concerning this tooth medicine is contaminated with arsenic and lead.  Promoters of artificial water fluoridation rely on dilution of approximately 180,000 to 1 at the water treatment plant to bring all the contaminants in the wet-scrubbing liquid below regulatory levels.  However, the Environmental Protection Agency has set the maximum contaminant level goal for arsenic at zero because it is a known carcinogen – there is no safe consumption level for a cancer-causing chemical.  Dilution is not good enough.  One of the questions Fluoride Free Windsor has posed to the Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC):  is there arsenic and lead in the water before WUC adds the fluoridation chemicals and if the levels of arsenic and lead increase with fluoridation, by how much?  We have been assured by the chair of the commission that all our concerns and questions will be answered.

Contaminants aside, surely the health agencies can speak to the safety of ingesting hydrofluorosilicic acid?

We have been advised by the current WUC Chair that “Fluoride was first introduced to Windsor water supply at the request of the Public Health Unit in 1953.”  One would think that the WUC would be in the business of supplying the cleanest water possible, and council would be in the business of deciding for the safest water possible. SO, if they’re willing to add a contaminated chemical to the purified water as medicine they MUST have been presented with some very convincing data, from the Public Health Unit, that it is safe for the whole population to ingest hydrofluorosilicic acid everyday for their lifetime. On November 2, 2011 the AM800 Lynn Martin Show discussed the topic of water fluoridation.  On the show was our local Medical Officer, Dr. Heimann. Listen Here

Lynn begins her interview with Dr. Heimann by asking him: is it true what opponents of artificial water fluoridation say, that the product (hydrofluorosilicic acid) has never been tested for safety?  Dr. Heimann answers by saying it is not true, that fluoridation of water has been studied and continues to be reviewed since its inception.  Lynn notices that Dr. Heimann didn’t answer her question about the product, it seems she wants him to clarify what fluoride product is considered safe and so she asks a second time ‘if the product that they use is regulated and approved by Health Canada?’  Dr. Heimann having been asked the same question twice is clearly uncomfortable and says ‘I beg your pardon?’  So Lynn proceeds to ask the same question a third time.  And here we finally get the truth about the actual product used in fluoridation.  Dr. Heimann admits that hydrofluorosilicic acid ‘doesn’t specifically have a regulatory requirement’ although he never does actually say the product’s proper name.  He goes on to say fluoridation chemicals are regulated by the Fluoridation Act and Drinking Water Act but is never able to confirm that the actual product has been tested for safety. Could it be that Health Canada has not tested and does not regulate the tooth medicine, hydrofluorosilicic acid, used in the artificial water fluoridation program that they endorse and recommend municipalities employ? If the product has been tested and shown safe wouldn’t Dr. Heimann want to share that with us?  Lynn asks the Health Unit doctor if he has anything further to add, we can hear him rustle papers as he finds what he’s supposed to say, as the local Medical Officer of Health, about the artificial water fluoridation program.  He tells us that fluoride is naturally occurring but notice he again avoids defining which fluoride chemical he’s referring to and as we’ve already learned above hydrofluorosilicic acid is definitely not naturally occurring.

Perhaps the Public Health Unit was more convincing in 1953, to sway council so?

It is tooth medicine after all, maybe the dentists know if it’s safe?

The opportunity to ask a dentist promoting artificial water fluoridation as to the safety of ingesting hydrofluorosilicic acid came on November 17, 2011 when the Windsor Star ran an article by Dr. Mady titled Fluoride has many benefits for teeth.  Dr. Mady states “Systemic fluoride is an excellent source because it is constantly delivered through our saliva.”  Systemic, as in when you drink the fluoride as opposed to the topical application of fluoride, such as the dentist would do in his/her office, when they warn you not to swallow it.  The article provided Dr. Mady’s email address and instructed any questions be forwarded to him.  Great!  Here is a bit from the letter a Fluoride Free Windsor member sent to Dr. Mady:

Can you confirm that the product the Windsor Utilities Commission uses, called hydrofluorosilicic acid, is a safe and effective form of preventing tooth decay?  I am not concerned about the topical application of fluoride but I am concerned that I can’t seem to find any toxicological study that ingesting hydrofluorosilicic acid is safe for my young children. Also, can you confirm that hydrofluorosilicic acid is safe for infants, children, the elderly and the ill (folks with diabetes, thyroid issues etc..)?  I’ve consulted both the Health Canada websites and the Centre for Disease Control websites The Health Canada information indicated that while they endorse water fluoridation they do not test or regulate the product my utility company is using.  They also indicate that too much fluoride is bad for us and that individuals should monitor their own fluoride intake.  This concerns me because fluoride does come from many sources including from places I’m sure I’m not aware of.  I also have one child that drinks a ton of water more than the rest of our family and I worry that she could be getting too much fluoride but I don’t know how to determine this.  Must I wait until she shows signs of fluorosis before I know – isn’t that too late?!

The Dentist doesn’t know if hydrofluorosilicic acid is safe for ingestion either:

“I can’t confirm anything related to the Windsor Utilities Commission. If you have any inquiries related to their water systems I suggest that you contact them directly. I can describe the benefits of fluoride for our teeth as I did in my article but any questions related to our water suppliers must be directed to them.  If you are concerned about fluorosis with respect to your child’s teeth, consult with your dentist.” Replied Dr. Mady.

Disappointed that the government dental health representative couldn’t speak to the safety or effectiveness of ingesting hydrofluorosilicic acid, though thankful for the doctor’s reply, the member’s response:

Thank you for your reply.  When I contacted my local utility they said that water fluoridation was endorsed by the health and dental associations but they have not responded as to whether the hydrofluorosilicic acid they use has indeed been tested and found to be safe or effective.  It is disheartening to read endorsements of water fluoridation, by professionals such as yourself, and find that you’re not able to actually speak to the product being used in the practice you’re endorsing. I’ll continue my search for the science and proof that this is indeed a safe and effective practice as promoted by the government health and dental agencies and I’ll pursue a follow-up with my local water provider – surely someone somewhere has the toxicological science I’m looking for to feel good about following your endorsement.

So, hydrofluorosilicic acid might not be safe, no one promoting it seems to know BUT is it at least effective?

Has the local health and dental agencies studied our population to determine that citizens from Windsor, Tecumseh and Lasalle are deficient of fluoride to justify their recommendation that the whole population be indiscriminately medicated with hydrofluorosilicic acid?  Surely they have convincing data that the folks from the non-fluoridating towns of Leamington, Kingsville, Essex, Wheatley, Ruthven and Harrow have higher rates of dental caries than the customers of WUC?  We asked the Essex County Dental Association for these statistics and they replied that they didn’t have any such statistics.  However, there are some statistics we can observe to help us evaluate the effectiveness of the artificial water fluoridation program.  The Globe and Mail ran an article on April 15, 2010 titled Fluoridation may not do much for cavities.  They graphed data from Statistics Canada, a copy shown here.

The stats compare barely fluoridated Quebec to Canada’s most fluoridated province of Ontario as well as the dental health statistics of Canada as a whole.  In all age groups the difference in number of dental caries was LESS THAN ONE!  Are we drinking industry’s waste to prevent half a cavity? These dental caries trends are confirmed by the World Health Organization’s data comparing countries that do fluoridate with the majority of countries that do not.

So far our search for proof and toxicological science to support the claim that artificial water fluoridation is safe and effective has left us wanting and wondering what the government health and dental associations’ endorsements are based on?

Fortunately, the importance of addressing these concerns and many other questions we have asked the Windsor Utilities Commission has not fallen on deaf ears.

Windsor Councillor and WUC Chair, Bill Marra has stated

I want to assure you that each one of your questions will be fully addressed in a report that will be forthcoming to the entire Windsor Utilities Commission.  Our senior administration is literally putting together a report that will provide the historical context of this issue for the commission, it will provide background information including but not limited to the questions you have tabled, it will also provide relevant stakeholder feedback and information from agencies such as our Regional Board of Health and our regional dental association etc… There will also be a discussion related to our duties and responsibilities, as Commissioners and elected officials, within the context of the Fluoridation Act of Ontario and specifically focus on options available in Section 3 of the Act which speaks to the “Discontinuance of system” (Fluoridation Systems).  Once this very thorough report is completed, it will be tabled to the WUC as an agenda item in a public forum….   As decision makers with both WUC and City Council, we need to ensure that we have valid and accurate information on this matter so that a well informed decision can be made in the best interest of our entire community.

And sure enough, at the Regular Commission Meeting held November 10, 2011 the following was moved by Mayor Eddie Francis and Seconded by E. Sleiman under New Business:

A discussion ensued regarding Fluoridation. The Commission wishes to take a proactive approach with respect to the ongoing fluoride debate. To that End, WUC administration has been asked to contact the surrounding communities to determine their stance with respect to fluoridation in the water system. Furthermore, a fluoridation report will be forthcoming at an upcoming Commission meeting.

Is it unreasonable for parents to want to see clinical data proving the safety and effectivenss of a medication before giving it to their children every day of their lives?

If you have concerns about the lack of safety and effectiveness proof available to support the artificial water fluoridation program – please let the policy makers of Windsor, Tecumseh and Lasalle know about it.  Our municipal governments are the ones responsible for the decision as to whether we get medicated with this industrial waste tooth medicine. We should have been consulted BEFORE our municipal representatives agreed to do as the Health Unit requested. But, IT IS NOT TOO LATE FOR OUR COUNCILS TO VOTE TO END ARTIFICIAL WATER FLUORIDATION.


[i] This description comes from The Case Against Fluoride by Paul Connett, PhD; James Bech, MD, PhD; H.S. Micklem, DPhil. The details of the history of wet scrubbers being included in the phosphate industry to prevent air emission pollution can be sourced from many places.

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The Council of Canadians launches Unfluoridate It!

The Council of Canadians was founded in 1985 and is Canada’s largest citizens’ organization, with members and chapters across the country. They work to protect Canadian independence by promoting progressive policies on fair trade, clean water, energy security, public health care, and other issues of social and economic concern to Canadians.

They work with a network of over 70 volunteer chapters to organize speaking tours, days of action, conferences and demonstrations. They also produce research reports, create popular materials, and work with individuals and organizations across the country and around the world. They do all of this to ensure that governments know the kind of Canada we want.

The Council does not accept money from corporations or governments, and is sustained entirely by the volunteer energy and financial assistance of its members.

At their recent Annual General Meeting in Montreal the national board of Council of Canadians UNANIMOUSLY PASSED THE RESOLUTION FOR THE NATIONAL BOARD TO CALL FOR AN END TO FLUORIDATION.  This resolution couldn’t have come at a better time for our community.

Following is the resolution and you can read more on this issue on the Council Of Canadians website.

WHEREAS the effectiveness of water fluoridation on dental health has not been proven, and new reports from the York Review (British Dental Journal) and the Medical Research Council in England demonstrate the ineffectiveness of adding fluoride to drinking water;

AND WHEREAS fluoride maybe harmful for some people, including diabetics, people with kidney disease, babies and children;

AND WHEREAS a medication, without a doctor’s prescription, is being given to an entire population, each member of which has not given his or her consent and each member’s need for which has not been identified;

AND WHEREAS water purification plants do not remove fluoride, and the fluoride contained in drinking water is released into our waterways;

AND WHEREAS fluoride is toxic and bioaccumulative and we do not know the consequences of it on plants and wildlife;

AND WHEREAS fluoridated water is not a necessary measure for those who brush their teeth regularly. There are much more effective and less costly methods for the people who need it such as education in schools and the distribution of toothbrushes;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT WINDSOR will not fluoridate its drinking water.

 

 

 

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What Product is used to Fluoridate our Water Supply?

Meet Hydrofluorosilicic Acid, the product added to our water supply according to the Windsor Utilities Commission.

This is the industrial grade fluoride product our municipal council uses to medicate us.  Click on the warning label image to see a Material Safety Data Sheet.  The liquid is an industrial waste product from the scrubbing of smokestacks in the production of phosphate fertilizer.  Indeed, fluoride is the ONLY INGREDIENT added to our water supply that is not meant to treat the water but is solely meant to treat us.  It doesn’t clean the water or make the water safe to drink – it is medication added to our clean water, a drug – prescribed en masse without regard to individual dosage.  This is not the same food/dental/pharmaceutical grade fluoride that dentists use topically and insist you don’t swallow.  Nor is it the same as the naturally occurring calcium fluoride.  It is different but claims to be the same by proponents of water fluoridation.

Confusion is inevitable.  We’re told that fluoride is good for our teeth – but the dental products meant to be administered topically come with clear warnings NOT TO SWALLOW the fluoride and we know if you do you’ll be very sick.  Oh, wait!  The same warning comes with the industrial fluoride added to our water – the only difference is we’re to believe that because it is so diluted that it isn’t dangerous.  Really?  And we believe this?  What about dosage control?  What about the folks drinking this that are smaller or weaker and what about accumulative effects?  There are no studies that show drinking Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is safe and no studies that show we should be cooking with it, bathing in it, using it to water our gardens, wash our clothing and be polluting our ground water and clean water supply with it.  In fact, if we didn’t buy this product and put it in our water supply the phosphate industry would have to go to costly means to dispose of it as industrial waste.

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