March 21, 2019

Archives for May 2012

Take the fluoride out of our tap water

By: Carmen McCauley (Letter to the Editor), Chatham Daily News, Chatham, Ontario 29-May-2012 — Sir: Other municipalities are removing fluoride from their water. I won’t say “drinking water,” because we are actually filling our birdbaths with fluoridated water, filling our pools with fluoridated water, bathing and showering in fluoridated water, washing our dishes in fluoridated water, giving our cats and dogs fluoridated water and even watering our lawns with the darned stuff. What a waste of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

If we want fluoride, we can buy it in our toothpaste. It is about time Chatham joined the other municipalities. Remove fluoride from our water and stop washing our tax dollars down the drain.

Windsor Utilities Commission confirms fluoride opposition

The Windsor Star, Windsor, Ontario 25-May-2012 — The Windsor Utilities Commission on Thursday reconfirmed its earlier decision recommending to city council that Windsor stop putting fluoride into its drinking water for a five-year period.

The board voted on the measure in February, but WUC staff sought a legal opinion whether the city could push ahead with the initiative given existing water-sharing contracts with neighbouring LaSalle and Tecumseh.

“It’s a non-issue,” WUC board chairman and Ward 8 Coun. Bill Marra said of those agreements. He said the legal opinion also stated the city was “protected” in terms of liability for any political decision to end the decades-old practice of adding a fluoride compound to municipal water to help prevent dental caries.

“It’s going to be a heated discussion,” Mayor Eddie Francis said of the coming council debate, expected sometime this summer.

The local health and dental communities, backed by their provincial and federal partners, remain firm supporters of fluoridation, while a growing number of municipalities are bowing to pressure from opponents who argue the health negatives outweigh the positives.

Marra and Francis, who also sits on the WUC board, both said they support the recommended moratorium.

Remove fluoride from Windsor water, utilities chair says

CBC News, Windsor, Ontario 24-May-2012 — The chair of the Windsor Utilities Commission supports removing fluoride from the city’s drinking water.

Sometime this summer, Windsor city council will deal with the issue.

A recommendation coming out of a special Windsor Utilities Commission meeting held last February is to stop the practice of adding fluoride.

Coun. Bill Marra chairs the commission’s board of directors and supports the motion. He said he’s hearing from the public on the issue.

“Obviously a lot has changed in 60 years and what’s changed significantly is the opinion of the average person,” Marra said.

“We’re hearing — whether you can call them a vocal minority — there is a very concerted, organized effort out there suggesting to the decision makers that fluoridation should be revisited and that’s what we’re doing.”

Marra said there are alternatives to fluoride in the drinking water. He also said the issue isn’t cut and dried.

“There are just a lot of question marks around data and research that’s been done; the lack of updated research and some questions around the bodies that have taken position on this without real empirical data to support their argument,” he said.

Fluoride Free Windsor, a group of 200 people calling for fluoride to be removed from Windsor’s water, praised Marra’s stance.

“He seems to really understand the question wasn’t about teeth, it was about the other things ingesting fluoride does,” Kimberly DeYong said. “This isn’t about teeth. It’s about so much more.”

DeYong said she and the group is “very optimistic” council will eventually decide to remove fluoride from Windsor’s water, mainly because most neighbouring communities have already done so. Only Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh still fluoridate their water supply.

The cost of adding fluoride to Windsor’s drinking water is between $125,000 and $150,000 each year.


Opposed to fluoride in water

By: Jean Wright (Letter to the Editor), Chatham This Week, Chatham, Ontario 22-May-2012 — Many years ago, when fluoridation was first proposed, I wrote a letter stating why I was opposed to this action. The first ballot failed, but a later one succeeded, and we have all been medicated without our personal consent ever since.

My reasons now are just as valid as they were then. To review, at that time I owned a flower shop, and did some research through FTD about the effect of fluoride on the flowers that were my stock in trade. I found that both gerbera daisies and gladiola were very sensitive to fluoride, among many others. My own experience with gerberas particularly showed that if I put them in Chatham’s newly-fluoridated water when I conditioned them, they didn’t last nearly as long as if I just recut the stems and left them in the unfluoridated water provided by the supplier.

The major claim for the use of fluoride, that it prevents cavities, is a medical claim, which makes it a drug. A drug can be defined as an article other than food intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or of animals. Fluoride is intended to affect the structure of the teeth, therefore it is a drug.

Drugs need to be prescribed, but dripping medication into the public water supply without the consent of (all) those who swallow it does not qualify as a prescription. Too much fluoride can cause serious health problems; children under six are advised not to use fluoridated toothpaste, for example.

Among other reasons for removing the chemical from our water: fluoride is a poison, a byproduct of aluminum mining. No matter where it comes from, it can be and sometimes is contaminated by heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. If the source of the chemical is China (and I have been assured Chatham’s is not) there is no way of knowing what is actually in it – remember the dog and cat food problems, and melamine in baby formula? And antifreeze in cough syrup? Lead in paint on children’s toys?

People who are using prescription thyroid medication should know that fluoride, because of its position on the periodic table, will be absorbed by the thyroid gland before iodine will.

By watering gardens with fluoridated water, the product may contain more fluoride than it should, which can also lead to health problems in otherwise healthy persons.

Many cities in the United States have begun removing fluoride from their water, saving them money and increasing the health of their citizens. The latest one, to my knowledge, is Albuquerque, N.M. With Chathamites having so many health problems, perhaps more consideration should be given to removing fluoride from our water supplies as well.

Chatham-Kent board of health urged to reconsider fluoridated water

By: Don Robinet – Chatham This Week, Wallaceburg Courier Press, Chatham, Ontario 20-May-2012 – Fluoridated drinking water in municipally-run systems has been the norm for decades, but a local group is urging the board of health, and, by extension, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, to reconsider the process.

Chantelle Goldsmith is spokesperson for Fluoride-Free Chatham-Kent and she outlined the group’s opposition to fluoride in drinking water during a presentation at the board of health’s meeting on May 16.

In her remarks, Goldsmith told the board fluoride “is not a nutrient” and “it’s not something that’s necessary for human survival.”

Goldsmith said fluoride is useful in the prevention of dental decay when applied topically, but of little use in a municipal water system, where, she said, the vast majority of use is not even for drinking water, but for things such as washing cars and watering lawns.

“It works topically, not by ingesting it,” she said.

Goldsmith also cited studies that said fluoridated water caused or aggravated some health conditions, such as arthritis. She also said use of fluoride in the water violates the public’s right to informed consent.

The board voted to receive Goldsmith’s presentation for information.

Speaking outside the boardroom after her presentation, Goldsmith said many municipalities, including some in nearby Essex County, have decided to remove fluoride from drinking water.

“They say it’s a medication, but everyone gets the same dose,” said Goldsmith, no matter how old they are. “No one would ever give the same dose.”

Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s acting medical officer of health, said he would be reviewing Goldsmith’s presentation carefully. He also said that on matters pertaining to dental health, the board consults with Dr. Wayne McKay.

Colby did add, however, the position of most medical professionals is that fluoridated water provides a benefit.

The decision on whether or not to continue with fluoridation rests with council, which would seek input from the board of health.

Fluoride in your tap water: advancement or toxic?

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Rhiannon Russell,, Hamilton, Ontario 19-May-2012 – It’s the dreaded question: “Which fluoride flavour would you like?” We’re given the choice of mint or cherry or something equally gag-worthy. Although most of us associate fluoride with a trip to the dentist, we’re consuming fluoride (albeit in a lower concentration) when we drink tap water.

Fluoride is achemical found naturally in soil, fresh and saltwater and certain foods that prevents cavities and tooth decay. Since the 1960s, it has been added to Hamilton water, as well as other water supplies across Canada, to improve oral health.

Proponents see it as a way to provide basic dental care to everyone in a community, regardless of income.

“It levels the playing field,” said Dr. Harry Höediono, president of the Ontario Dental Association. “Think of fluoride as a natural supplement that we add to make our lives healthier.”

And although fluoridation was dubbed one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, critics call the chemical a toxic substance, pointing to research that shows it’s bad for the environment, causes fluorosis — white streaks or spots on the teeth — in children and may also be linked to cancer, loss of bone density and autism.

In Ontario, the decision to fluoridate is left to municipal governments.

Last month, the City of Hamilton’s annual report on fluoridation was released, to much debate from councillors and citizens alike. Councillor Brian McHattie tabled a motion asking Health Canada to designate fluoride as a drug or an additive or supplement. He also requested a long-term study to examine the effects of fluoride on humans. Council approved the motion last week and is now waiting for Health Canada to respond.

“This is a complex issue,” McHattie said. “(Municipal governments) shouldn’t be expected to be the experts. You’d hope that Health Canada could be a little more objective.”

Health Canada, as well as the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Dental Association and the World Health Organization, strongly support fluoridation and deny it has any adverse health effects besides fluorosis.

But the question is, are we getting too much fluoride?

Today, there’s a variety of products that contain it. From toothpaste to mouthwash, we’re getting more fluoride than ever. And no one’s exactly sure how much is too much.

Höediono, for one, is confident that fluoridated water isn’t providing us with enough.

“It’s been shown worldwide … that community water fluoridation is not in itself enough to prevent cavities in children,” he said. “Fluoride is only one of the preventative tools that we can use.”

But Dr. Hardy Limeback of the University of Toronto’s faculty of dentistry argues that fluoridating tap water is unethical.

“The issue of mass medication of an unapproved drug without the expressed informed consent of each individual must also be addressed,” he writes in a letter posted on the Fluoride Action Network. “The dose of fluoride cannot be controlled.”

Nuts and bolts

• About 70 per cent of Ontario’s population drinks fluoridated water.

• Waterloo and Amherstburg recently stopped adding fluoride to their water, while Toronto and Halton Region voted to continue doing so.

• Health Canada dictates the maximum acceptable concentration of fluoride in drinking water is 1.5 milligrams per litre, but 0.7 mg/L is optimal.

• The City of Hamilton’s water concentration is 0.6 mg/L.

• Water fluoridation in Hamilton costs less than $3 per person per year.

• About 400,000 people receive city water, so the annual cost is approximately $1 million.

Sources: Health Canada, City of Hamilton, Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation


Free Durham From Fluoride

Ireland Against Fluoridation

This site aims to provide an informed forum for up-to-date analysis of the issues raised by mandatory fluoridation affecting three million Irish residents and particularly those most vulnerable to fluoride’s effects – their children.

Hamilton wants fluoride classified as a drug

Webster Falls (Formerly Dr. Hamilton's Falls), Photo By: by Dan Court

By: Kevin Werner, Hamilton Community, Hamilton, Ontario 07-May-2012 –

Hamilton’s Board of Health is asking the federal government to classify fluoride as a drug so it can be properly regulated and studied.

“It’s a difficult issue for us,” said Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie, who introduced the motion at the board’s May 7 meeting. “There is a need for more information. We need the federal government to take the lead on it.”

The motion, which is similar to one Peel Region approved in January 2012, requests Health Canada classify fluorosilicates as a drug under the Food and Drug Act, or as an additive or supplement through the Bureau of Chemicals.

The idea, say councillors, is that fluoride would then be subjected to a long-term toxicology study to determine its health effects. Councillors also asked the provincial environment ministry to provide assurances the fluoride being poured into the city’s waste supply is safe.

But Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark suggested the board go one step further and establish a moratorium on pouring fluoride into the city’s drinking water, while the federal government considers the city’s request. He said the city’s $223,000 contract for fluoridating the water ends September 2012.

“The only reason fluoride is in the system is because it has always been done,” he said.

Last fall Moncton, New Brunswick agreed to a five-year moratorium on fluoridating its water supply.

Mountain councillor Tom Jackson said he has always kept an “open mind” on the fluoride issue, even after some of the information has “scared me.”

But he agreed with his colleagues Health Canada needs to establish some core protocols for fluoride.

“I want Health Canada to clarify the issues,” he said.

Politicians are scheduled to vote on the Board of Health’s recommendation at their May 9 council meeting.

McHattie’s motion comes on the heels of a contentious debate last month at city hall over whether the city should continue to put fluoride into its water supply. Opponents of fluoride argue it is a chemical that is putting residents’ health at risk, while proponents of fluoride say it has prevented tooth decay in children. About 90 health organizations around the world support fluoride, including the World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the Canadian and American dental associations.

Cindy Mayor, of the organization Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation, backed McHattie’s motion, saying other politicians have also asked Health Canada for answers about fluoridation’s effects on the population.

“Now it’s your turn to act diligently and consider that everything is not as it seems,” she said.

Opponents of fluoride have made a concerted effort over the last five years to convince municipalities to end fluoridation. After a heated debate in 2008, Hamilton politicians narrowly voted to continue fluoridating its water supply. Halton Region in 2012 voted to keep fluoride, as did Peel Region andToronto. But other jurisdictions eliminated fluoride, including Amherstburg in 2012, Waterloo in 2010 and Calgary in 2011.

COF-COF team members present health, environmental and legal concerns regarding hydrofluorosilicic acid fluoridation contemplated by Orillia, Ontario Council


COF-COF (07-May-2012, 20 min. 7 sec.)

Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation ~ Canadiens Opposés à la Fluoration — team members Sheldon Thomas, Heather Gingerich and Robert J. Fleming present health, environmental and legal concerns regarding contemplated hydrofluorosilicic acid (silicofluorides/fluorosilicates) fluoridation of municipal drinking water in Orillia, Ontario, Canada.

After contemplation and deliberation, on July 16, 2012 Orillia Council voted not to fluoridate Orillia’s drinking water.