Council is considering removing fluoride from drinking water

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Drinking water

City council is considering removing fluoride from our drinking water, after a vote doing just that was deferred for the time being Monday night.

City councillors want Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis to return to city hall and provide more information on hydrofluorosilicic acid - the compound that is used by the city as the source of fluoride in drinking water.

Councillors Glen Grant and David Murphy put forward a motion Monday night that outlined removing the fluroride from our water.

But the majority of councillors weren't ready to make that move without more information from Roumeliotis on the dangers of the acid. The doctor and Canada's top dentist were at city hall weeks ago to advocate for the continued use of fluoride.

"We already listened to his presentation and absorbed all that informantion," said Grant, who spoke recently with a retired municipal worker who used to handle to corrosive hydrofluorosilicic acid. "He said if you could do something for the worker in that building, get rid of that acid."

Coun. Andre Rivette jumped on those comments, and suggested Grant was being a little dramatic.

"That's a big issue," said Rivette. "We've got to watch it when we make statements that we're putting our employees in danger."

The city has added fluoride to drinking water since 1962.  It costs about $50,000 annually to do it, and Grant and Murphy want to save the money.

The city draws its water from the St. Lawrence River. It is purified via the use of a coagulant and chlorine in order to make it fit for human consumption.

Hydrofluorosilicic acid is the most common source of fluoride for the water treatment industry, says a city report, adding it is important to note that the addition of this acid is not part of the treatment process.

The province leaves it up to individual municipalities to decide on their own whether to add fluoride to drinking water - but it does mandate a specific limit of the chemical if a municipality uses it.

Fluoride Free Cornwall has argued against the use in our drinking water.

It's unknown when Roumeliotis will be able to return to city hall to furhter discuss this issue.

Geographic location: Canada, St. Lawrence River

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Recent comments

  • Richard Hudon
    December 13, 2012 - 01:02

    A balanced presentation, well written for those still able to think for themselves. Let's get out of bed with the polluting industries who use our water supply for the disposal of their toxic fluoride industrial waste passing it off as tooth medicine via the "Hell Authorities" after convincing them that they are not really lying to them but providing them with a solution to tooth decay. However, there is absolutely no proof, just endorsements, rhetoric without foundation, veiled threats and gross exaggerations of the non- existent benefits of fluoridation. Don't be fooled by their connivance and empty threats and baseless claims: ask for proof and watch them cower. The only real solution to tooth decay is nutrient rich foods and low sugar intake without replacing it with artificial sweeteners: there are a few natural choices out there for sweetener replacements, like Stevia...

  • Neil Dominguez
    December 12, 2012 - 10:12

    consumption of flouride results in MANY undesired affects

  • Dave Windsor
    December 11, 2012 - 17:27

    Harry Valentine is a very bright, impartial engineer who has a lifetime working knowledge of killer toxins within the St. Lawrence River system. His input and that of his like minded colleagues must be given just prudence. I do NOT believe the same for our supposed health care system in THIS case, no disrespect intended. This is made out to be much adieu about nothing, when in fact all of us are being unwittingly, forcibly POISONED. Numerous other communities have made the tough decision to eliminate this fluoride poisoning. We've had a lifetime of being used as guinea pigs here. The test is over. Face the facts and eliminate fluoride from our drinking water. I vote NO. Council, you should too!

  • Safe Water Please
    December 11, 2012 - 09:09

    Public health and Health Canada assures us that drinking the hazardous waste product, hydrofluorosilicic acid, is 'safe and effective'. They say the chemical is of high purity and tested for safety. When we ask to see the toxicological safety studies to determine for ourselves if the product is safe for our children to ingest everyday for their entire lives - we're told, there are none. But don't worry, it is still safe, we're told. It doesn't need to be tested to be shown as safe, we're told - because it dilutes and 'magically disappears' when added to our drinking water. It hydrolyzes and dissociates under specific temperature and ph conditions. We're assured that dilution of this pollution makes it somehow safe. But none of this can possibly guarantee safety - where is the science to show that the chemical stays dissociated when it comes out our taps? Where is the science to show that it doesn't re-associate into something hazardous in the stomachs of my children? This is WHY tox studies are necessary - they are how we determine how the chemical behaves when we INGEST IT - which is what we're doing every single time we have a glass of water, a cup of tea, mix concentrated OJ, have some homemade soup, take a hot bath... First we're mislead to believe that the product has been tested and found safe and upon further investigation we find there are no safety tests - then we're fed propaganda that the safety tests are not necessary. These fluoridation lobbyists have gotten away with this for too long. It is time to end the experiment of adding an untested hazardous waste chemical to public drinking water.

    • Ron Eheman
      December 14, 2012 - 07:10

      Who is in charge of the fluoridation medicine? The National Sanitation Foundation. The NSF requires numerous toxological studies proving it's "safe and effective" (this should be the FDA's job and systemic fluoride products are not approved ). The NSF does not have a single study and defers to the suppliers. The suppliers should have them. They do not. Carroll- Boone Water District and Crescent City have written to over 40 suppliers of the drug for the tox studies and have not received a single reply. Looks like it is against the law. Who is responsible to check that the drug is in compliance with the law? The City and/or water departments attorney along with their Municipal League Risk Management Pool . A water operator can not substitute endorsements for due diligence. The water operators are the only ones that can select and ultimately be responsible for the benefits or harm from consumption of the product. NSF Standard 60 and the NSF web site state repeatedly that toxicological and health studies are required. However, NSF representatives have admitted that NSF does not obtain toxicological studies on fluoridation materials from the fertilizer company suppliers nor does it do its own toxicological studies on fluoridation materials – despite the fact that NSF has its own toxicologists on staff[13] and runs its own toxicological department.[14]. NSF does not even follow its own rules. Instead of setting a.4 ppm MAL, maximum allowable level, which would be one-tenth of the EPA 4.0 ppm MCL, NSF sets a 1.2 ppm MAL. The conclusion then is that “the buck stops” at the water district office. It is the municipalities which assume the liability of requiring fluoridation. The water district makes its decision based on the false assurances of a sham regulatory agency that fluoridation materials are safe. law requires that they rely on this sham regulatory agency; it does not require that the water district make any further inquiry. I have not read a response from any city's legal department on this issue. One would think that this would be very important to minimize liability to a city.