February 9, 2018

Archives for May 2017

City council to receive a report on fluoride in water

By: Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer 29-May-2017 − Council chambers at Sarnia city hall was bustling with talk about water fluoridation Monday, where a packed house listened as two doctors presented the pros and cons.

“At a baseline, the overwhelming majority of evidence is in favour of continuing water fluoridation,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton County’s medical officer of health

Ranade said water fluoridation is an effective way to guard against tooth decay, provided it’s regulated properly.

The practice is backed by the World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control and many other reputable bodies.

Its benefit in reducing tooth decay is especially poignant among children, he said, noting the data generally needs further clarification.

Advocates also argue having fluoride in water means it’s available for lower-income portions of the population who might not have access otherwise.

But fluoride is in toothpaste and a host of other things, meaning it can build up and causes fluorosis – mottling – in teeth, said Dr. Hardy Limeback, former head of preventative dentistry at the University of Toronto .

One in 10 children in Canada has some degree of fluorosis, he said, noting he’s researched the impact of fluoride in water for decades.

Applied topically, fluoride has benefits, he said.

Ingested, it’s a different story.

“Once it gets in your cells, it’s like a bomb goes off,” he said, noting a study he conducted found it lowers bone strength.

Several studies also show it affects brain chemistry and lowers intelligent quotient, he said, when it builds up beyond the recommended level.

That happens more with people who consume more water, like athletes, kidney dialysis patients and babies on infant formula, he said

“It’s my opinion, based on the research we did … it can cause bodily harm,” he said.

“It does not provide the dental benefits as claimed and is not cost effective at all.”

In terms of cost, he said, it’s basically a wash in terms of preventing cavities and fixing fluorosis.

Sarnia last tackled the issue of water fluoridation in 2013, voting 5-4 to take it out of the water.

But Sarnia is part of the Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS) and has continued with fluoridated water since because most other member municipalities with the utility voted to continue with the practice.

Representatives were invited to attend Monday’s meeting, but none were there, said Sarnia City Coun. Andy Bruziewicz, chairperson of the LAWSS board.

He said he hoped they were watching the video feed.

It’s unclear what happens next

Bruziewicz noted information is being collected by staff until June 2 for an eventual report to council.

“So that may outline the path towards the future a little bit,” he said.

Those interested can email comments via fluoride@sarnia.ca.

Several residents booked time to speak Monday on the issue. Most were opposed to fluoride in water

Municipalities like Windsor, Vancouver and Calgary have ended water fluoridation.

The evidence to end the practice needs to be stronger to make a move, Ranade said.

Evidence in support also needs to be stronger and updated, he said, suggesting Sarnia-Lambton should try to be involved in advancing that research.


Transportation Minister comments on 401 safety as Mayors lobby for stricter winter driving laws

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: CKWS TV, CKWS Newswatch, Kingston, Ontario 01-May-2017 – Canada’s busiest highway is also one of the most dangerous… especially in bad weather.
A point driven home by this chain reaction crash and chemical spill last March.
A Hamilton trucker died in the 401 pile-up east of Gananoque, during blizzard-like conditions.

“A few hours late could have saved a life. It could have saved that life.”
Mayors in Eastern Ontario are banding together — calling on the province to take action — to prevent future tragedies like this one.
The municipal resolutions range from reducing speeds on all 400-series highways during bad weather events …. banning trucks hauling dangerous goods when driving conditions are poor… or closing highways outright.
Different strategies … but with the same goal.

Roger Haley/Mayor, Front of Yonge Township:
“They do it in a couple of states in the US. They take them off the highway. It’s a safety thing. All the way around — for people and the environment. It can be done.”

While banning dangerous cargo in bad weather is one approach — Haley say the province can take other measures to protect the safety of all motorists.

“If we can get them to slow down first… that would be an important first step.”

Del Ducaè
“I’m happy to have a conversation with municipal leaders.”

Ontario’s transportation minister says he’s heard about the growing concerns voiced in this region…. and is willing to meet with the mayors to discuss solutions.
But Stephen Del Duca says there’s also an element of common sense that must apply.

Steve Del Duca/Minister of Environment:
“I would say that everybody who uses the 401 or any other highway or road on Ontario knows, particularly when transporting potentially dangerous goods to drive according to the conditions of the road.”

While 401 safety is the focus of many concerns … local mayors also worry that some measures could cause other problems.
Reducing 401 speeds, they fear, could funnel more highway traffic onto secondary routes, through small towns.
While the government isn’t ready to commit to any new safety strategy … Haley says at least it’s on the minister’s radar.


Also See:

1 dead after 30-vehicle crash, chemical spill on Highway 401 near Kingston (29 patients treated at hospital, including 13 first responders who underwent decontamination)

Victim identified, cleanup and investigation underway in 401 crash