Posts Tagged hydrofluorosilicic acid
Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC) is the last water supplier in all of Essex County to fluoridate the municipal drinking water supply. Communities across Ontario and Canada have been ceasing fluoridation, which is great news for our health and the health of our environment. Canada is now less than 40% artificially fluoridated.
Fluoride Free Windsor has documented on video some very important facts that have come to light during our Safe Water Campaign.
We urge all WUC customers to watch these videos and forward them to their fellow neighbours, friends and families. These are facts that, once widely known, can help us achieve our goal of having safe water for all (not just those that can afford expensive filter systems and bottled water). After viewing, be sure to write to Windsor Council and let them know you want safe water. Council needs a reason to go against the recommendation of health authorities (who are paid and mandated to endorse this practice) by hearing from the folks that vote and elect them into office!
What is the product used to fluoridate our water?
Is it the pharmaceutical grade fluoride found in our dentists’ office? Is it naturally occurring calcium fluoride that fluoride lobbyists allude to? Windsor Utilities Commission administration confirmed that the product, hydrofluorosilicic acid, used to fluoridate our drinking water is industrial waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry.
Has this product been tested for safety?
The license to operate a water system states that chemicals used must meet standard NSF60, which requires that toxicological safety studies be conducted on all chemicals. But these haven’t been done. So, not only are we drinking hazardous waste, but we’re drinking hazardous waste that has never been tested for safety to ingest! No Safety studies, means no compliance with legislation and no legal product with which to fluoridate. No Means No.
Wouldn’t the precautionary principle be prudent?
Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Heimann, admits that in the absence of SAFETY STUDIES, precaution should be taken. Tecumseh council wanted to see the toxicological safety studies on hydrofluorosilicic acid, but they don’t exist and so the precautionary principle should be applied. If in doubt, leave it out.
Windsor council will be receiving recommendations to cease artificial water fluoridation from Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, Windsor Utilities Commission, Great Lakes United, Council of Canadians, Town of Tecumseh, Fluoride Free Windsor, CAW Environment Committee and hopefully from YOU, too! These reports and recommendations will find their way to the council agenda in about 60 days. It would be ideal if those interested in having safe water would email council with their concerns and then show up to the meeting, fill the council chambers, support the safe water delegates and champion for safe municipal drinking water free of unnecessary, untested, unsafe industrial waste chemicals!!
“My ignorance of fluoride in the beginning was a matter of chance. If you ignore this evidence today, it will be a matter of choice. Good luck with doing the right thing.” Dr. Phyllis J. Mullenix, neuro-scientist.
Before we get to the outcome of the recent Windsor Utilities Commission meeting let’s take a look at the local media coverage. Fluoride Free Windsor and local Safe Water Advocates want to thank our media sources for doing such an amazing job of helping Windsor/Essex residents become informed about the facts of artificial water fluoridation!
February 29, 2012 Utilities Commission Recommends City Stop Fluoridating Water
February 27, 2012 ‘More Doctors Smoke Camels’
February 18, 2012 Researchers Explore Fluoride Debate
February 18, 2012 Fluoride Still Stirring Debate
February 10, 2012 Heather Gingerich on Ending Fluoridation of Drinking Water
February 7, 2012 Town Council Passes Moratorium on Water Fluoridation
December 2, 2011 City Urged to Consider Fluoride Ban
November 2, 2011 Group Wants Fluoride Removed
Fluoride Free Windsor, Council of Canadians, Canadian Medical Geology Association, a Registered Nurse and several local residents presented to the Windsor Utilities Commission (WUC) board members at a special fluoridation meeting held on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 to make the case for SAFE WATER.
The outcome of the meeting was a motion made by Councillor Dilkens and seconded by Councillor Marra to recommend that the City of Windsor cease fluoridation. All members of the commission, except for Councillor Sleiman, voted in favour of the motion. We wish to extend a huge thanks to Mr. Dilkens and Mr. Marra, as well as the commissioners, for voting in favour of SAFE WATER. For more videos of delegates’ presentations visit the Fluoride Free Windsor YouTube channel.
Windsor Utilities Commission has a mandate to supply SAFE WATER
A little background on this water supplier – they have state of the art technology using both ozonation and infra-red to clean the water (not chlorine!) and remove any pathogens – this is good because we get our drinking water from the Detroit River which, as most of you reading this will know, isn’t so clean! Unfortunately, after WUC does such a fantastic job of cleaning the water they add an agent that is classified as hazardous waste – hydrofluorosilicic acid – straight from the smoke stacks of the phosphate fertilizer industry, untreated, tanked and shipped to our municipality under the guise of ‘tooth medicine’. See here confirmation from WUC’s Chief Operating Officer, John Stuart, that the water fluoridation product is a waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry:
WUC Fluoridation Reports
A May 23, 2006 WUC fluoridation report for City of Windsor Council states “It should be noted that The Windsor Utilities Commission reduced the level of fluoride from 1.2 mg/l to 0.65 mg/l several years ago.” which begs the question: Does that mean that for several decades WUC customers got twice the concentration of fluoride that they tell us is safe today? Will we be told in the future that the ‘safe’ limit is lower still, as fluoride lobbyists find it more and more difficult to disregard the mounting evidence that fluoride accumulates in our bodies and in our environment, causing harm?
In the WUC Fluoridation report dated February 17, 2012 (completed for the purposes of this special fluoridation meeting) it states:
“It is of interest that on January 7, 2011 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended dropping the fluoride concentration from their current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per litre to 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per litre. This updated recommendation was based on recent EPA and HHS scientific assessments to balance the benefits of preventing tooth decay while limiting any unwanted health effects.“
UNWANTED HEALTH EFFECTS? But our Medical Officer of Health and local dentists keep saying there are NO unwanted health effects. The WUC report quotes the Health Canada (2007) review that indicates “fluoride in drinking water is unlikely to cause adverse health effects…” and “fluoride in drinking water is unlikely to be the cause of moderate dental fluorosis…” (does that mean it is likely to be the cause of mild dental fluorosis?) As parents trying our best to protect our children from unnecessary chemicals, should we be reassured with Health Canada’s ‘unlikely to cause harm’ fluoridation endorsement? Can they back up this endorsement with safety studies?
Fluoride lobbyists admit that fluoride is harmful and can only claim it is ‘safe and effective’ at optimal levels. The problem is, that ‘optimal level’ has continued to be decreased ever since the water fluoridation experiments began. Why is that? For one thing, the science doesn’t support the ‘safe and effective’ propaganda. And so as decades pass and we’re in our third generation, of test subjects ingesting fluoride, we see more and more signs of fluoride toxicity – and so instead of our health authorities being PROTECTIVE and taking PRECAUTION we see them being reactive to mounting evidence of harm and lowering the fluoride limit in our drinking water time and again all while desperately defending this policy in an attempt to retain credibility. It seems that the opposite is happening. By defending worn-out policy, health and dental authorities are losing credibility when they do not take a precautionary stance that is protective of all.
Residents should be allowed to monitor their own fluoride intake while depending on the tap water for bathing, cooking and drinking. Public health is NOT monitoring our fluoride intake from all exposures nor have our communities been assessed to determine what our fluoride intake is from all available sources. Some people are sensitive to fluoride, some people need to avoid it because they suffer from a suppressed thyroid or because they have a compromised immune system. Current water fluoridation concentrations are not protective of formula fed infants or aquatic species and claims of safety at any level is questionable, as we’ll soon see.
What does the Precautionary Principle say?
The principle requires that we consider the possible benefits, the possible harms and whether there are feasible alternatives for producing the benefit. For fluoride, the benefit is slight if any and does not pertain to a threat to public health. Possible harm is great and almost certain for some harm like dental fluorosis and thyroid suppression. There are harmless and accessible alternatives for attaining the desired benefit. And so, fluoride does not pass the test of the precautionary principle.
Anyone who believes that ingesting fluoride is contributing to their dental health can simply ingest more of the readily available foods that contain fluoride while leaving our municipal drinking water free of it so that it is as safe as possible. See here the USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods. There is no shortage of access to fluoride but avoiding it is near impossible when it is in our tap water. For those interested in SAFE methods of preventing dental caries see these Alternatives to Fluoride.
How SAFE is hydrofluorosilicic acid? What measures exist to ensure it is SAFE for us to ingest every day of our lives?
The Safe Drinking Water Act (2002) is clear that water systems must meet licensing requirements; the license (Schedule B, Section 14.0) requires that chemicals used meet the Standard NSF60. This standard provides criteria to conduct a toxicological risk assessment. This criteria was confirmed by WUC Chief Operating Officer, John Stuart, in the report dated February 17, 2012 submitted to commissioners for the purposes of the fluoridation meeting.
“Standard 60 was developed to establish minimum requirements for the control of potential human health effects from products added directly to water during its treatment, storage and distribution. The standard requires a full information disclosure of each chemical ingredient in a product. It also requires a toxicology review to determine that the product is safe at its maximum use level and to evaluate potential contaminants in the product…A toxicology evaluation of test results is required to determine if any contaminant concentrations have the potential to cause adverse health effects.”
The legislation is in place for safety criteria. So why are there no safety studies?
See here video coverage for the WUC meeting where administration admits no toxicological safety studies have been completed (in the 60 years of forcing this hazardous waste on us!). The video demonstrates how health authorities know full well that these safety studies do not exist and yet continue to promote the policy as ‘safe and effective’.
There is no scientific consensus that ingesting hydrofluorosilicic acid is safe. There are no safety studies to prove it is safe. More and more municipalities are becoming aware of this glaring oversight and are ending the fluoridation experiment. Let your Windsor, Tecumseh and Lasalle councillors know that you want them to follow the Windsor Utilities Commission’s recommendation to cease artificial water fluoridation to make our municipal drinking water supply as SAFE as possible. And allow us to enjoy Fluoride Free Water like the rest of Essex County, most of Canada and most of the World.
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.
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.