UPDATE: No fluoride, for now, in Cornwall water

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Drinking water

CORNWALL, Ontario - For more than two months Cornwall water has been without fluoride, and it looks like it could be a couple of more weeks before the chemical is put back.

Coun. Syd Gardiner let it slip, on purpose, during a city council meeting Monday night that the city stopped adding fluoride to the water early this spring.

The reason lies in concerns the city has about the worker safety when it comes to the building where the chemical additives are stored.

City CAO Norm Levac was not available for comment to explain the specifics of the decision, but Gardiner said worker safety is a concern.

"There needs to be proper ventialtion and they need to be able to put masks on in case there's a spill," he said. "It's a worker safety issue, and that's a priority for me."

But over the last couple of weeks Gardiner was getting miffed because he was unable to get an update on when the fluoride, which is added to drinking water to battle tooth decay, would be returned.

Gardiner was told in a meeting Wednesday morning it would be two more weeks.

"I was somewhat upset I wasn't getting any answers," he said.

John St. Marseille, Cornwall's manager of municipal works, said Monday night the city is working as quickly as it can.

"We have been working with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to secure the provision of fluoride," he said.

In an interview later St. Marseille, said a so-called "dosage feed pump" failed weeks ago. The pump adds the necessary chemicals to create fluoride for our drinking water.

There were also leaks of the chemicals when the pump failed.

St. Marseille said the city retained some experts who made a slew of health and safety recommendations concerning the storage area where the chemicals are kept, including improved breathing apparatuses, ventilation and practices should a spill occur.

He was asked why the city didn't have such policies in place already.

"The standards change and we need to make sure we meet the new standards," he said. "They get reviewed all the time."

St. Marseille said until the new policy measures are in place, the city drinking water will remain fluoride free.

Geographic location: Cornwall, Ontario

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  • ron
    June 30, 2014 - 08:34

    "NO TOXICOLOGY STUDIES, NO FLUORIDATION". It is very simple. focus on this. The NSF certification is bogus, they tell us that it is the suppliers responsibility and not one supplier can produce even one of the 20+ studies. These are the studies that they, the suppliers, needed to submit to the NSF for the certification , just bring action in court immediately that the councilors did not do their due diligence in researching the suppliers claims of certification. Cease and Desist adding fluoridation chemicals. Doing so would open the door for ALL communities to stop the fluoridation of all water supplies that require NSF certification.

  • Jennifer Knight
    June 26, 2014 - 17:13

    Worker safety??? How about all the people who drink it? If it's a hazard storing it don't you think it's a hazard if it's in the drinking water? Is there anyone who can provide one good reason why it needs to be added in the first place?? Honestly where is the common sense when you read this??

  • Steve
    June 26, 2014 - 00:37

    Speaking of City Water. Strangest thing I would swear up and down that the water where I live stinks of Chlorine lots of times. I have spoke with my Roomie and it has noticed also. It gets really strong and it makes for bad morning coffee that is not drinkable after running the water for 5 minutes to fix the issue it is still present sometimes. Maybe our Clean City could use another system. I hear some Counties have made it illegal for Fluoride and Chlorine in the city water. I wonder what they use.