What you need to know about toxic substances in our drinking water: heavy metals, neurotoxins, and fluoride.
In a previous post, the dangers of disinfectant byproducts in drinking water was discussed. Chlorine and ammonia water purification practices are a bit archaic and not capable of removing the most dangerous elements in our water: heavy metals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, drugs, personal care products, neurotoxins, etc. In addition to these substances, our bodies also have to contend with the addition of fluoride. Though it’s touted as good for us, fluoride in drinking water is something different altogether. The following excerpt is from the upcoming book, The Wecology Handbook:
Fluoride and Drinking Water
Have you ever wondered where the fluoride in our water comes from? Is there a difference between this and the fluoride in toothpaste? As it turns out, fluoride added to our water is actually fluorosilicic acid. Technically classified as hazardous waste, this acid is an unsafe byproduct of fertilizer manufacturing and phosphate mining.
Why is industrial fluoride waste in the U.S. drinking water supply?
Of all air pollutants, fluoride gas is historically considered one of the most terrible—responsible for killing crops, livestock and people since the 1850s. Public outcry and lawsuits demanded that fluoride emissions be controlled. The pollution solution: wet scrubbers. Wet scrubbers are pollution-control devices that capture fluoride gases emitted during phosphate fertilizer and aluminum manufacturing. Because of the steep expense associated with fluoride waste disposal, more economical options were explored. During the 1950s, Reynolds Aluminum began a campaign to convince people that fluoride added to water could reduce cavities. If disposed of properly, fluorosilicic acid would have cost these industries millions of dollars. Yet by selling it to thousands of towns, they turned an expense into profit.
“In summary we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk. That is, the toxicity of fluoride is so great, and the purported benefits of it are so small–if there are any at all– that requiring every man, woman, and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior on the part of our government.” Dr. J. William Hirzy, Senior Vice President of the EPA Headquarter’s Union. See the petition to cease water fluoridation filed by Dr. Hirzy, and rejected (naturally) by the EPA in 2013. Insightful video Dr. HIrzy providing testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water on behalf of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) Chapter 280 – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Headquarters.
For many years there has been an ongoing debate concerning the safety and health benefits associated with fluoride—both the kind found in toothpaste and what passes for fluoride in our water. Notice the warning on your toothpaste container: contact the poison control center if you swallow your toothpaste. Interesting that fluoride in toothpaste can be lethal when swallowed, yet drinking untold amounts of toxic fluorosilicic acid can be okay? Deceiving us and escaping corporate responsibility, the fertilizer industry has gotten richer while we’ve gotten sicker. Find more information at: www.fluoridealert.org, The Phosphate Risk
From Fluoride Alert: FLUORIDATION: WORSENING THE LEAD CRISIS IN FLINT, AND BEYOND
Over the past few weeks, the nation has watched in horror at the lead poisoning crisis unfolding in Flint, Michigan. The details from Flint have been shocking: tap water so corrosive it caused lead levels in some homes to meet the classification for hazardous waste; and politics so corrosive that “while the children in Flint were drinking lead-filled water, there was one — and only one — address in Flint that got clean water: the GM factory.”
Lead is a powerful neurotoxin, one that causes irreversible damage to the developing brain. The damage manifests in reduced IQs, behavioral problems, and violent behavior. But lead is not the only neurotoxin that Flint children are now ingesting in their tap water. Like most other urban areas in the United States, Flint adds a corrosive fluoride chemical to its water in the name of preventing tooth decay (aka “water fluoridation“). This fluoride chemical is not only a neurotoxin, its repeatedly been found to leach lead from water pipes and increase the levels of lead in children’s blood. In short, fluoridation programs are adding fuel to the fire of America’s lead crisis, in Flint and beyond. Flint Is the “Tip of the Iceberg”
The staggering risks from lead poisoning extend far beyond the borders of Flint. In the words of one scientist, “Flint is the tip of the iceberg.” In fact, many cities across the United States have “higher rates of lead poisoning” than Flint, including at least 6 other (fluoridated) cities in Michigan itself. As in Flint, tap water can be a major source of lead exposure, despite debunked claims to the contrary by some public health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control. Although lead water pipes were banned in 1986, millions of Americans still drink tap water that travails through lead service pipes and many millions more drink water that passes through lead-containing brass fixtures — all with a complex brew of corrosive water treatment chemicals, including chlorine, chloramines, and fluorosilicic acid. Clean water activist Erin Brockovich stated recently that the U.S. is facing a “national water crisis.” Fluoridation is contributing to that crisis. Continue reading
HOW YOU ARE EXPOSED
Drinking fluoride-treated water; eating food grown in soil treated with fluoridated fertilizer, smoking cigarettes made with tobacco grown with fluoride radioactive fertilizer, living near phosphate fertilizer mills; breathing contaminated air; and drinking beverages, soups, coffee, tea made with fluoridated water. Even animals are sickened from fluoride, see this video about a family and their horses in Colorado and what happened after 1985 when their water was fluoridated.
Mandatory Fluoridation in Illinois: Illinois law, 415 Ill. Comp. Stat. 40/7a, mandates statewide public water fluoridation in all communities. Regulations specify adding fluoride to all water supplies when the fluoride concentration is less than 0.7 mg/L. http://fluoridealert.org/researchers/states/illinois/
Fluoride causes dental fluorosis (staining, pitting, increased porosity of enamel);skeletal fluorosis (a very painful, crippling bone disease); it changes bones; increases risk of hip fractures, osteoporosis, bone cancer, kidney disease, and early onset of puberty. It accumulates in the pineal gland and also contributes to hypothyroidism, a lowered IQ, low sperm count, and melatonin interference. This chemical potion is also known as a serious cholinesterase inhibitor, which means it greatly interferes with the central nervous system. Excess fluoride increases absorption of lead and other heavy metals. See this for a full explanation of the threats from fluoridated water.
- Find out if your town adds fluorosilicic acid to its water supply—most towns do! Then join forces with other concerned residents. Let your town officials know that you don’t want fluoride added to your water anymore! Perhaps we should stop paying our water bill until it’s removed. If your state has a fluoride mandate like Illinois, call, email, or write to your governor and state representatives to get it reversed. Click here to find their contact info.
- Meanwhile, filter the fluoride out. The best way to do this is with a reverse-osmosis filter. This system can be installed to cover the water you shower with as well. Distilling water also removes fluoride. However, note that most inexpensive filters found at the drug store do not filter the fluoride out, and boiling water only kills bacteria. See this to learn how best to reduce exposure to fluoride. Maybe the phosphate fertilizer industry should redeem itself by providing the households of America with reverse-osmosis filters?
- Create a local Petition to get the fluoride out!
- Contact your senators and representatives. Send them a copy of this testimony provided by Dr. Hirzy. Tell them that the phosphate fertilizer industry is involved in unethical, irresponsible and harmful methods of operation. We do not want them contaminating our water any longer!
- Contact the Koch Brothers (one of the largest global producers and marketers of fertilizer) to ask them to please take public health into consideration at the fertilizer facilities they own–though it may be legal to sell fluoride waste to water utilities and municipalities, they could take a bold stand and stand up for the health of U.S. citizens. By refusing to sell their fluorosilicic acid and instead dispose of it safely and properly, they may reduce their profit by a teensy tiny bit, but they will improve their reputation into infinity. Wouldn’t that be a worthy return?
- As always, make sure your water is uncontaminated, especially if you have older plumbing pipes in your home or workplace. If you have a private well, have it tested regularly for nitrate from fertilizer as well as heavy metals and pesticides.
As shocking as it may be, this is the green reality!