Fluoridated water may be cause of some arsenic and lead pollution, organization says

The fluoride added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay may be polluting the water supply with lead, arsenic and other toxic industrial byproducts, an organization has reported.

NEW YORK, June 21, 2001 (PRNewsWire) — The fluoride added to drinking water to prevent tooth decay may be polluting the water supply with lead, arsenic and other toxic industrial byproducts, an organization has reported.

According to the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), the only three chemicals certified for fluoridation are: Hydrofluosilicic or Fluosilicic acid, Sodium Fluoride, and Sodium Silicofluoride.

"...the most common contaminant detected in these products is arsenic...," reports NSF. "The other significant contaminant found...is lead," they report.

"All of the fluoride chemicals used in the U.S. for water fluoridation, sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, and fluorosilicic acid, are byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry" wrote Tom Reeves, National Fluoridation Engineer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control CDC). "Arsenic...had an average of 0.43... parts per billion (ppb) in the drinking water attributable to the fluoride chemical," he reports.

Also, CDC's "Water Fluoridation A Manual for Engineers and Technicians," (Reprinted 1991) reads, "sodium silicofluoride is widely used as a chemical for water fluoridation. As with most silicofluorides, it is generally obtained as a by product from the manufacture of phosphorus fertilizers."

But dentists don't seem to know or admit this, the New York State Coalition to Oppose Fluoridation contended in a release.

In a newspaper interview, American Dental Association fluoridation spokesman, Michael Easley, DDS, who promotes fluoridation via his National Center for Fluoridation Policy and Research website at the University of Buffalo, NY, was quoted as saying, "... there are the contrived arguments that claim fluoride ... is a chemical pollutant, a toxic byproduct... There is no scientific basis for any of these claims."

"It's shameful for dentists to endanger the public and mislead the media," says lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation.

According to the American Water Works Association, if arsenic's maximum contaminant level is reduced to 5 ppb, "90 percent of the arsenic that would be contributed by treatment chemicals is attributable to fluoride addition," according to their journal, "Opflow."

"We understand the considerable expense it takes for communities to remove naturally occurring arsenic from water supplies; but it is unconscionable that water engineers are allowed to purposely add lead- and arsenic- contaminated fluoride into water supplies without consumers' knowledge or informed consent, at the urging of misinformed dentists," says Beeber.

Arsenic in drinking water causes bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. Lead poisoning can cause learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and at high levels, seizures, coma and even death.

Some experts say safe levels for arsenic or lead don't exist.

Arsenic levels as high as 1.66 ppb have been found in hydrofluosilicic treated drinking water, which, according to the National Academy of Sciences, is a cancer risk.

For more information, visit the following web sites:

* http://www.fluoridealert.org/NSF-letter.pdf

* http://www.fluoridealert.org/ifin-230.htm

* http://www.buffalo.edu/reporter/vol30/vol30n17/n5.html

* http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/arsenic/chap1.asp

SOURCE: NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation

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