March 24, 2019

Victim identified, cleanup and investigation underway in 401 crash

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa, Ontario 15-Mar-2017 – LANSDOWNE – A 45-year-old Hamilton man has been identified as the victim of a multi-vehicle collision that led to a chemical spill and closed Highway 401 for hours east of Brockville.

Police identified the victim as Ian Meville, a transport-truck driver. Police did not identify the cause of death.

Police confirmed a “serious collision involving transports” along Highway 401 westbound lanes near kilometre marker 675 early Tuesday afternoon in which a corrosive material spilled onto the road and some vehicles were reportedly trapped underneath transport trucks.

Provincial police advised Wednesday afternoon that the highway remains closed in both directions for the investigation. (See detour map at bottom of the story.)

Meaghan Quinn, spokeswoman for Kingston General Hospital, confirmed late Tuesday that said a decontamination bay was opened at the hospital for all those who were exposed to the chemical, noting that the substance had been confirmed as fluorosilicic acid.

The official Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) covering industrial use of this acid says it is irritating to the airways, and can cause skin irritation, redness or swelling. Extended breathing of fumes can cause “burning sensation, coughing, wheezing, laryngitis, shortness of breath, headache, nausea and vomiting.”

It recommends people exposed to it should be taken into the fresh air, and skin should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. If necessary flush the eyes with water for 20 minutes. The MSDS instructions say people may wish to see a doctor if symptoms are severe.

The acid is used in fluoridating water, and in aluminum production.

Twenty-nine patients were brought to the hospital, which declared a “code orange,” meaning non-critical emergency admissions were routed to nearby Hôtel Dieu Hospital to make way for crash casualties.

Thirteen of the injured were first responders, Quinn said.

By 9 p.m., a number of patients had been discharged and others were being held for observation before it was decided whether they would be released or admitted.

Earlier, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands said in a Facebook post that “all persons with potential chemical exposure (have) been transported for medical attention. No residential properties were affected and there is no risk to the general public.”

According to witnesses’ postings on social media accounts, emergency vehicles and fire rescue trucks were being used to take victims who had been exposed to the hazardous substance to an impromptu decontamination centre established at the township fire station in Lansdowne.

Township Mayor Joe Baptista said at the scene “at least 20” people were sent to hospitals from the Lansdowne control centre.

“There was at least one individual in critical condition, and a second individual in serious condition,” Baptista said.

Patients were brought to a control centre at the fire station where they went through a decontamination process.

“(They had) to be completely hosed down. Your clothing and everything is taken. Anything on your person has to be removed,” he said.

Brockville General Hospital spokesperson Abby McIntyre confirmed BGH admitted one person involved in the crash with minor injuries, with the rest of the victims sent to Kingston.

An emergency response in TLTI, led by the township’s ‘community control group,” was initiated around 3 p.m. as first responders were on site and co-ordinating a medical response.

Ottawa Fire Services Hazmat unit — one three designated agencies for hazardous materials incidents for the whole province — was contacted by the Office of the Fire Marshal to assist responders.

At 5:15 p.m., response crews reported the chemical spill had been contained.

“All vehicles have been rerouted and all persons with potential chemical exposure having been transported for medical attention,” said Elaine Mallory, the township’s director of planning.

Cleanup crews had arrived on site by late afternoon to remediate the area of the chemical spill. The Ministry of the Environment was among those on site of the spill.

First responders termed the highway pileup as a “mass casualty” event due to the number of people exposed to the hazardous chemicals carried by the leaking tanker truck.

Anybody who endured even minor inhalation exposure to the substance was being taken to hospital, according to responders.

The chain-reaction collision reportedly involved a dozen or more tractor trailers in the wind-driven blizzard conditions along the Hwy. 401 corridor, along with many passenger vehicle collisions.

Images and social media users’ videos as well as eyewitness reports portrayed several jackknifed tractors across the road or tipped into the median of the highway.

(With files from Sabrina Bedford, Brockville Recorder and Times)

Victim identified, cleanup and investigation underway in 401 crash

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)

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: CBC News 14-Mar- 2017 (Last Updated 15-Mar-2017) – Kingston General Hospital says one person has died following a massive, 30-vehicle crash on Highway 401 east of the city that spilled a toxic substance at the scene.

The afternoon pileup closed the highway in both directions and forced motorists to evacuate from the area.

In a statement Tuesday evening, the Kingston hospital said it received 29 patients from the crash scene, including 13 first responders who underwent decontamination and were held for observation as a precaution. Some of the patients have already been released.

The OPP said a male driver of one of the tractor-trailers involved in the crash died as a result of his injuries.

The hazardous material unit was called in because some of the tractor-trailers involved in the crash were carrying caustic materials, later identified as fluorosilicic acid, according to the hospital.

“Exposure to the chemical could cause irritation to the nose, throat, respiratory system, irritation, redness or swelling of the skin and severe eye irritation,” the statement said.

The flood of patients has diminished and the hospital declared a code orange over at 8 p.m. ET. According to the Ontario Hospital Association, code orange is used in the event of an external disaster resulting in a surge of casualties seeking care at a hospital urgent or emergency department.

“One of the involved transports is leaking a toxic substance, as a precaution the area is being evacuated,” said Const. Sandra Barr in a news release. “Both east and westbound 401 will be closed to allow for the investigation. Detours have been set up.”

The eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 401 remain closed from Reynolds Road to Mallorytown Road.

Barr told CBC News some first responders were exposed to the chemical while coming to the aid of the driver of a transport truck, who was taken to hospital for his injuries.

“The five firefighters, for sure, were involved in trying to rescue this driver who was in his transport, and the three police officers as well,” she said.

Medical attention required

The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, where the crash occurred, said in a statement that the site has been contained.

“All vehicles have been rerouted and all persons with potential chemical exposure having been transported for medical attention. No residential properties were affected and there is no risk to the general public,” a spokesperson for the township wrote at 5:15 p.m. on the municipality’s Facebook page.

“The Ministry of the Environment has been notified and cleanup crews have arrived on site to remediate the area from the chemical spill.”

Police described conditions on the highway as “near whiteout” when the crash occurred around 2 p.m. ET.

Gananoque police posted a message on their Facebook page saying that according to the Leeds Fire Department, the hazardous material that leaked turns into hydrofluoric acid if exposed to heat.

“Hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic, highly corrosive and poisonous solution which is harmful to skin, lungs and eyes.”

Decontamination bay

Kingston General Hospital set up a decontamination bay for patients, according to spokesperson John Pereira.

Non-critical emergency patients were rerouted to Hotel Dieu Hospital, also in Kingston, said Pereira.

Police asked motorists at the scene to stay in their vehicles while emergency crews carried out their work.

Emergency responders from the surrounding area, including Ottawa fire services, were at the scene.

About 30 vehicles, mostly tractor-trailers, were involved in the crash, according to Acting Sgt. Angie Atkinson.

One dead after multiple transport collision, chemical spill on Highway 401

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Cris Vilela, Kingston Heritage, Kingston, Ontario 14-Mar-2017 – OPP report that one male is deceased following the multi-vehicle pile-up and chemical spill that took place on Highway 401 in Leeds and Thousand Islands Township Tuesday afternoon.

Ian Meville, 45, of Hamilton, was transported to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. Meville was a transport driver involved in the westbound primary collision.

The incident was labelled a “mass casualty event” due to the high number of people exposed to a hazardous material, which leaked from one of the tractor trailers involved.

An OPP investigation revealed that there were in fact two separate collisions. The primary collision occurred just east of Highway 137 and involved five tractor trailers and one car. Police say the driver of one of the tractor trailers has since succumbed to his injuries.

The secondary collision also took place in the westbound lanes, about one kilometer west of the first and involved seven tractor trailers and three vehicles. There were multiple chain reactions after the fact behind those two collisions. In the same vicinity on eastbound Highway 401, three other tractor trailers were involved in collisions.

The leaked hazardous material, fluorosilicic acid, turns into hydrofluoric acid if exposed to heat, according to the Leeds Fire Department. Hydrofluoric acid is a highly toxic, highly corrosive and poisonous solution which is harmful to skin, lungs and eyes. Extrication of the driver carrying the liquid was required after the transport ended up in a ditch. A HAZMAT team was called to the site. The transport was carrying between 7,000 and 10,000 litres of this liquid*, most of which leaked all over the roadway.

Several people were reported to have become covered in the hazardous liquid. The fire department set up a decontamination area in the eastbound lanes to treat those exposed; they were instructed to disrobe and remove contact lenses if they had them.

OPP report that a total of seven firefighters, three police officers and 17 civilians were treated for exposure to the substance as a precaution. Frontenac Paramedics also report that three members of their team were treated for exposure.

Kingston General Hospital declared a Code Orange (Mass Casualty Event) late Tuesday afternoon due to the large influx of patients from the collision scene being brought in for treatment. KGH opened a decontamination bay for all those who were exposed to the chemical. Exposure to the fluorosilicic acid could cause irritation to the nose, throat, respiratory system, irritation, redness or swelling of the skin and severe eye irritation.

The hospital reports that it treated 29 patients in total as a result of the accident, 13 of whom were emergency services first responders who underwent decontamination and were held for observation as a precaution. The Code Orange was declared over at 8 p.m. KGH says their emergency department returned to business as usual operations at that time. The hospital began to discharge some patients involved in the 401 pile-up Tuesday night.

If you believe a family member or loved one may be at KGH as a result of the accident, please call the hotline at 613-549-6666 ext. 4704 for info.

The Ministry of the Environment has been notified and clean-up crews have arrived on site to remediate the area from the chemical spill.

Highway 401 will remain closed indefinitely in both directions between Mallorytown and Lansdowne.

A Wednesday morning news release from the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands said that response crews at the scene of the chemical spill were hampered by the winter storm, which continued overnight. Daylight will offer opportunity for a full reassessment and continued action.

“The Emergency Response Action Plan has been reviewed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change as well as Hazmat officials and its implementation will be monitored through the day based on current situational analysis” said Mayor Joe Baptista in a press release. “Once again we reinforce that there is no immediate danger to the public and that the site is contained.”

Residents and travellers are encouraged to avoid the area and allow additional travel time to suit weather conditions and detour routes.

More information will be updated as it becomes available.

*Amended from an earlier estimation of 14,000 litres

Peel council unanimous in voting to continue with water fluoridation – Province asked to check toxicity

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Roger Belgrave, Brampton Guardian, Brampton, Ontario 09-Mar-2017 Peel will continue fluoridation of the region’s drinking water system.

In a decision one anti-fluoride activist called criminal, Peel council members unanimously voted to continue the long-standing practice of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply ­— albeit at a slightly lower concentration.

At a March 9 meeting, councillors endorsed a motion from the region’s Community Water Fluoridation Committee.

The committee was established more than a year ago to probe the health benefits of water fluoridation and recommend a regional position on the decades-old practice in Peel.

Last month, committee members passed a motion to reaffirm the region’s commitment to oral health, while recommending fluoride concentrations in local drinking water be reduced to 0.5 mg/l and a switch to a calcium fluoride additive to address concerns about the toxicity of Peel’s current additive.

Mississauga Coun. Carolyn Parrish, chair of the committee, had earlier told council that coming to a definitive regional position on water fluoridation had been difficult process given all the contradictory information from experts, advocates, health officials and scientific studies on both sides of the debate.

When the review began, she noted, there were members of the committee bent on removing fluoride from the drinking water.

“Some have changed their position. I’m one of them,” remarked Parrish, who added the motion was a compromise derived with the best interest of residents in mind.

But it is still unacceptable to anti-fluoride activists such as Brampton resident Christine Massey who view fluoride as a poison.

She spoke to council before the vote and reiterated her fears about the toxicity of the fluoride residents consume in water from their taps.

She accused the council of “illegally drugging” residents and pleaded for at least a moratorium on fluoridation while the region awaits response from the provincial government on a request to test toxicity levels of the local additive and assume responsibility for administering municipal water fluoridation in Ontario.

Brampton Coun. John Sprovieri, a loud anti-fluoride voice on council who supported the motion, isn’t optimistic about the province taking action on those requests.

Debate on the issue six years ago also ended with council unanimously deciding to continue fluoridation.

Budget for fluoridation system climbs

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300

By: Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor, Brantford, Ontario 17-Feb-2017 – City councillors want to discuss behind closed doors the ballooning budget for construction of a liquid fluoridation system at the Holmedale water treatment plant.

Council’s operations and administrations committee voted this week to support a motion from Coun. Dan McCreary to defer to an in-camera meeting further discussion on a staff request for an additional $350,000 to install a permanent liquid fluoridation system at the plant.

For decades, the city has used a system of putting sodium silicofluoride powder into batch tanks, which then was released into the water treatment stream. But municipal staff observed particulate fluoride settling out in the batch tanks.

A consultant determined last March that the hardness of the water made some of the powder insoluble. A temporary liquid system was put in place last May, while a permanent solution was found.

Council earlier approved allocating $200,000 toward the installation of the permanent system that would inject the fluoride as a liquid. About $50,000 of the budget was used for consultant design, contract administration and inspection fees, leaving $150,000 to pay for the installation itself.

However, staff said in a report to the committee that it is necessary to increase the budget to $500,000 and add another $350,000.

“The estimated cost to implement a permanent liquid dosing system is higher than anticipated, due to more complex than anticipated changes required at the plan,” the report says.

“The proposed system will not only provide adequate fluoridation of the drinking water, but also address required health and safety measures to protect staff and residents.”

Staff said that they asked the consultant to investigate the use of existing out-of-service systems in other areas of the plant for the new liquid system, but were told all were incompatible.

Councillors Brian Van Tilborg and Rick Weaver balked at the budget hike.

Van Tilborg said he fears the city could be getting itself into a hole.

Weaver said he wants to see what other municipalities are doing to fluoridate their water.

“We had a system that worked for 55 years and now we’re hearing it hasn’t worked,” he said.

“I can’t support this.”

The committee voted 8-2 to recommend taking the issue behind closed doors. The recommendation will be discussed at the next council meeting.

Peel asks Ontario government to test toxicity of fluoride added to local drinking water

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Roger Belgrave, Brampton Guardian, Region of Peel, Ontario 15-Feb-2017 – Peel is asking the provincial government to conduct toxicity tests on the additive used to fluoridate the region’s drinking water.

Regional council wants the Ontario government to provide clear evidence the additive is safe for human consumption.

After months of hearing scientific studies that have concluded water fluoridation has proven oral health benefits and contradictory arguments that the practice poses serious health risks, Peel councillors decided to drop the local controversy in the Ontario government’s lap.

For a year now, councillors on Peel Region’s Community Water Fluoridation Committee have been re-examining the benefits and potential health risks associated with adding fluoride to the municipal drinking water system.

The committee was established to form a recommendation for the regional position on continued use of water fluoridation in Peel.

However, it appears council members are no closer to forming that position than they were a year ago.

Committee Chair Carolyn Parrish admitted councillors have been “struggling” with the contradictory information presented on the benefits and dangers of fluoridation.

“It’s not been an easy committee,” she confessed at recent council meeting, where council agreed to request the province take responsibility for testing and/or regulating the drinking water additive.

Peel is currently using hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) produced from Phosphorite Rock.

Critics of the water treatment have warned HFSA is a highly toxic form of fluoride, produced as a waste byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process.

Regional health and water system officials have assured politicians the water based liquid additive used in Peel is NSF 60 (National Sanitation Foundation) certified, as required under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meets purity standards and complies with all Ministry of Environment and Climate Change regulations.

A motion, presented by Brampton Coun. Michael Palleschi, asks Ontario to carry out comprehensive toxicity tests and/or assume legislative responsibility for regulating and administering HFSA in drinking water across the province.

Brampton Coun. Martin Medeiros was the only council member present at the meeting to vote against the motion.

Medeiros, who described the move as passing the buck, said he is comfortable with the advice received from regional staff on the issue and ready to make a decision on the future of fluoridation in Peel.

“I was elected to make these types of decisions,” he said in an interview.

Staff has consistently said HFSA meets health standards and there is scientific evidence to support the benefits of water fluoridation.

“The vast majority of the scientific community does support (water fluoridation),” Peel Medical Officer of Health Eileen de Villa told councillors.

She insisted opposition is coming from a small minority of the scientific community.

“It’s not that there’s two equally sized factions,” she remarked.

A loud antifluoridation lobby has countered any information presented in support of the practice.

Brampton Coun. John Sprovieri, a vocal opponent of water fluoridation, said council members are not shirking their responsibility and will make a decision after the province responds to these requests.

Peel had this same debate more than five years ago and decided to continue fluoridation.

Moncton city council extending fluoride decision deadline

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: Tori Weldon, CBC News, 07-Feb-2017 – Council is giving itself more time to decide if fluoride will return to the city’s drinking water.

Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold has told a group of citizens council will take more than a month to decide if fluoride will go back into the city’s drinking water.

About 25 people rose to stand behind fluoridation opponent Jennifer Jones as she spoke at Monday’s meeting.

“Many of us watched last Monday’s presentation [and] can’t understand why you would only give yourselves a month to study this issue,” Jones said.

Jones, a mother and teacher in Moncton, asked council to take more time to consider the important decision, although her own mind has been made up.

“Public water does not belong to dentists,” she said. “Public water is not the way to administer a drug, especially a drug as controversial as fluoride.”

One week earlier, council held a special meeting to allow two groups to speak on the issue. Those who favour fluoride in water supplies say it is highly effective in reducing the number of cavities in children.

Those who oppose it say it is dangerous and there isn’t enough information about the long-term effects on people.

Fluoride debate a ‘hot potato,’ says Moncton mayor

Moncton to debate return of fluoride in drinking water

Mayor Arnold and council decided before the meeting that the Feb. 27 deadline should be extended.

“They were in agreement that we need a bit more time to make the decision and to have a proper mechanism in place so we can get the answers to some of our questions because as we dig through some of the research we’re getting more and more questions,” she said.

Arnold said council will meet again to put a timeline in place.

Five-year history

In 2011, a group of citizens approached the city to remove fluoride from the water, citing health concerns and saying medicating water is a violation of rights.

Moncton phasing fluoride out of water

The city endured a contentious debate that year which ended with Moncton council voting 7–4 to remove fluoride from the water supply.

At the time, Dieppe had voted to remove fluoride from the water supply, while Riverview voted to keep it. As the three communities all get their water from Moncton’s Turtle Creek Resevoir, Moncton broke the deadlock between the communities.

Dollars and cents

In 2011, fluoridating the water cost an estimated $100,000 a year.

Isabelle LeBlanc, Moncton’s director of communications, said to bring it back would cost about $60,000 a year in supplies plus maintenance, power and human resources, as well as a one-time cost of $20,000 to update the facility.

Water Fluoridation Chemicals Now Officially Linked to Brain Harm & Cognitive Deficits

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Alanna Ketler, The Event Chronicle, 14-Jan-2017 – A few weeks ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was served with a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) petition, from a coalition of environmental, medical, and health groups, including national non-profit Moms Against Fluoridation (MAF). This notice is calling on the agency to completely ban the addition of artificial fluoridation chemicals to public water supplies due to an astounding amount of evidence that proves the risks that the consumption of such chemicals pose to the brain.

The TSCA Petition includes over 2500 pages of scientific documents to support its claims that drinking water that has been fluoridated has the potential to cause profound harmful effects on the brain. These effects were not yet understood years ago when communities began adding fluoride and other chemicals to the municipal drinking water supply.

Science is now a lot more sophisticated than it was at that time, and the proper laboratory tools and technologies are now available to more accurately examine the brain in greater detail. The petition reveals evidence of broad changes to the brain due to water fluoridation such as: IQ deficits, neuroanatomical and chemical effects, and the dire concerns of the effects on the developing fetal brain.

“In times past when fluoridation was instituted, science only had the scalpel or basic X-ray technology, and we simply weren’t able to assess the brain in the way technology can today,” states MAF leadership.

Because this petition was filed under the TSCA it authorizes the EPA with the ability to prohibit the “particular use” of a chemical that presents an “unreasonable risk” to the general public or any sub-populations that are susceptible. This petition argues that the addition of artificial water fluoridation chemicals now absolutely constitutes an “unreasonable risk” to citizens. These risks have now been revealed by 196 new scientific studies that are included in the petition.

Over A Decade Of Increasing Scientific Concern

“…it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body by direct and indirect means.”

“Not only do fluorides [adversely]affect transmitter concentrations and functions but also are involved in the regulation of glucagon, prostaglandins, and a number of central nervous system peptides including vasopressin… and other hypothalamic peptides.”

“Fluorides also increase the production of free radicals in the brain through several different biological pathways. These changes have a bearing on the possibility that fluorides act to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dozens more findings such as the ones listed above were published in the 507 page NRC report.

If you’re wondering about the reported benefits that drinking fluoridated water has on our teeth, well those questions were addressed as well. Author of the petition, Michael Connet says, “It is now understood that fluoride’s predominant effect on tooth decay comes from topical contact with the teeth, not ingestion.”

The Petition states: “Since there is little benefit in swallowing fluoride, there is little justification in exposing the public to any risk of fluoride neurotoxicity…”

“It is important to note,” says a MAF representative, “that not only does it appear that drinking fluoride does nothing for the enamel, but not a single long-term fluoridation safety trial has ever been conducted on the fetus, the brain or the thyroid by our government. Not one.”

It certainly appears as though the government has not done any safety trials on the effects of fluoride at all, but luckily there are many scientists around the world that are interested in fluoride and its toxic effects. The research has become so extensive that it can now be classified as in the same category as lead, mercury and PCBs as one of the “developmental neurotoxicants” according to the journal, Lancet Neurology.

Physicians are also deeply concerned about adding this chemical to the drinking water, as Angela Hind, M.D. notes: “Right now we have 1 in 6 children in the U.S. with neuro-developmental brain disease, including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, low IQ and behavioral disorders, and 1 in 8 women who will develop thyroid disease. These two epidemics tell us that chemicals like fluoride and lead, both developmental neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors, have no place in our public water.”

Leading professionals in the field of dentistry are bothered as well. “As a practicing general dentist of 39 years, I was stunned when I saw the studies demonstrating the effects that drinking artificial fluoridation chemicals can have on the body—particularly, on the brain,” comments Dr. Bill Osmunson, D.D.S. of Bellevue, Washington.

“This Petition is a watershed,” adds MAF. “Just as people once thought lead, DDT and asbestos were safe, there was a time, after much work and pushing by the people, when those erroneous assumptions shifted and the policies were forced to change. This is now that time for artificial fluoridation chemicals, as the science raises far too many concerns, and the EPA must act to protect the people.”

Various organizations supporting this petition include Moms Against Fluoridation, The Fluoride Action Network, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and many other individual co-petitioners.

The Cat Is Finally Out Of The Bag

Did you know that the majority of Europe has rejected water fluoridation? That alone should make you question- why? Someone once brought up an interesting point, they say fluoride is good for our teeth, so they add it in unregulated amounts to our drinking water. If they really cared that much for our health, wouldn’t they be adding essential vitamins and minerals as well? Do they really care about the health of our teeth. Something to consider.

No longer can this crucial research go unnoticed and ignored. The evidence is there, how can they even reject this petition? It’s all there. Only time will tell how this situation is handled. The EPA has 90 days to respond.

If you would like to view the petition you can do so here:

Thank you so much for all of the hard work to all those diligent and dedicated people who were involved in putting this research together and presenting this petition. This is so important, and it would appear that there is nothing they can say now and water fluoridation will hopefully become a thing of the past, that we look back and say, “What were we thinking? How could we have ever thought that was a good idea to begin with?”

Exit le fluor, bienvenue la santé dentaire ! / Exit fluoride, welcome dental health !

Boris 2016 CaricatureRéal Boisvert, Gazette de la Mauricie, 5 janvier 2017 – Maintenant que la fluoration de l’eau à Trois-Rivières est chose du passé, revenons à l’essentiel. Intéressons-nous à la santé dentaire de tous les enfants de la région. Et rappelons-nous en même temps que la carie dentaire est probablement l’un des problèmes de santé les plus faciles à traiter.

Comme de fait, une très large proportion d’enfants de la région ne présente aucune carie. Sauf exception, il est vrai que ces enfants ont la chance d’appartenir à un milieu familial relativement aisé. En effet, la carie –et cette statistique n’a pas encore été démentie- évolue selon un profil épidémiologique voulant que 80 % des caries se retrouvent dans la bouche de 20 % des enfants les plus défavorisés, qui résident eux-mêmes dans les communautés locales les plus déshéritées de la Mauricie. La fluoration de l’eau avait donc pour seul objectif de prévenir la carie chez les enfants les plus pauvres et, détail non négligeable, à Trois-Rivières seulement. Cela en espérant que ceux-ci ingèrent effectivement leur dose quotidienne d’eau fluorée, nonobstant son inefficacité contre le tartre, la gingivite ou une carence vitaminique quelconque.

« 80 % des caries se retrouvent dans la bouche de 20 % des enfants les plus défavorisés »

La recette à la base de la santé dentaire passe par une alimentation correcte, une hygiène buccodentaire adéquate et une visite annuelle chez le dentiste. Si la santé publique est résolue dans sa volonté de combattre la carie chez les enfants les plus pauvres, il lui suffit de tabler sur ces axes d’intervention en les adaptant au contexte particulier des familles en situation de précarité socio-économique.

Au premier chef, il s’agirait d’inclure davantage de considérations relatives à la santé dentaire dans le domaine de la lutte contre l’insécurité alimentaire. Du même coup, il serait indiqué d’en faire autant en ce qui concerne les interventions propres à l’adoption de saines habitudes de vie, surtout que l’hygiène buccodentaire s’avère à la portée de tous, quitte à distribuer gratuitement des brosses à dents et du dentifrice dans les écoles les plus défavorisées. Ces deux mesures restent cependant insuffisantes en l’absence de l’amélioration significative des conditions de vie des enfants les plus démunis. La santé publique nous a toutefois démontré par le passé qu’elle agissait comme un acteur de premier plan en matière de développement collectif, en particulier en ce qui a trait à ses efforts visant l’amélioration de la capacité d’agir des individus et des communautés regroupés dans les premiers quartiers de nos villes. Dans cette mouvance, on retrouve un bassin de leaders et d’entrepreneurs sociaux aptes à soutenir une forte mobilisation citoyenne autour de l’importance d’offrir aux enfants les plus démunis une visite annuelle chez le dentiste. Au demeurant, les dentistes du réseau de la santé, si on se fie à l’opiniâtreté avec laquelle ils ont promu la fluoration, sont bien placés pour rappeler au ministre l’excellent rapport coûts-bénéfices d’une telle politique.

À moyen terme, en tant que vecteur de l’estime personnelle et de la confiance en soi, on sera surpris de voir à quel point un sourire complet et éclatant peut créer un effet positif sur la réussite scolaire des élèves les moins favorisés.


Boris 2016 CaricatureRéal Boisvert, Gazette de la Mauricie, 5-Jan-2017 – Now that water fluoridation in Trois-Rivières is a thing of the past, let’s get back to the basics. Let’s look at the dental health of all the children in the area. Remember that tooth decay is probably one of the easiest health problems to treat.

As a matter of fact, a very large proportion of children in the region have no caries. Except, it is likely that these children have benefited by belonging to a relatively affluent family environment. Indeed, decay – and this statistic has not yet been denied – evolves according to an epidemiological profile that 80% of the cavities are found in the mouth of 20% of the most disadvantaged children, who themselves reside in the most deprived localities of the region of Mauricie. The only objective of water fluoridation was to prevent dental decay in the poorest children and, not surprisingly, in Three-Rivers only. This, while hoping people would ingest their daily dose of fluoridated water as being worthwhile, notwithstanding its ineffectiveness against tartar, gingivitis or any vitamin deficiency. After fluoridation, what about a mobilization for overall dental health? Now that fluoridation in Three-Rivers is a thing of the past, let’s return to the essentials. Let’s be concerned about dental health for all the children of the region. Let’s remember at the same time that dental decay is probably one of the easiest health problems to treat.

“80% of cavities are found in the mouth of 20% of the most disadvantaged children”

The basic recipe for dental health is a healthy diet, adequate oral hygiene and an annual visit to the dentist. If public health is resolved in its fight against caries among the poorest children, it is enough to rely on these methods of intervention by adapting them to the particular context of families carrying the most socioeconomic risk.

First and foremost, it would involve the inclusion of more dental considerations in the area of food insecurity. At the same time, it would be useful to look for interventions appropriate to the adoption of healthy lifestyles, especially since oral hygiene is available to everyone, especially if we freely distribute tooth brushes and toothpaste within the most disadvantaged schools. These two measures, however, remain insufficient in the absence of significant improvement in the living conditions of the poorest children. However, public health has demonstrated to us in the past that it has acted as a major player in community development, particularly in its efforts to improve the capacity of individuals and communities in the oldest/poorest neighbourhoods of our cities. In this movement, there is a pool of leaders and social entrepreneurs able to support a strong citizen mobilization around the importance of offering to the poorest children an annual visit to the dentist. In fact, dentists in the health care system, based on the perseverance with which they have promoted fluoridation, are already well-placed to remind the minister of the excellent cost-benefit ratio of such a policy.

In the meantime, as a vehicle for self-esteem and self-confidence, it will be interesting to see how a complete and brilliant smile can have a positive effect on the academic success of less privileged students.

Moncton to debate return of fluoride in drinking water

COF-COF News Find 300 x 300By: CBC News, 16-Dec-2016 – Council wants to hear from interest groups at public meeting Jan. 30 and residents online by Feb. 6.

Moncton councillors will hold a special public meeting next month to discuss reintroducing fluoride to the city’s drinking water supply.

Only special interest groups will be allowed to make presentations at the committee-of-the-whole meeting, which is set for Jan. 30, at 5 p.m., in council chambers, the city said in a statement on Friday.

But residents are being encouraged to submit their comments online at by Feb. 6.

Council will debate the topic during a second public meeting, which will be held a few weeks later, once councillors have had an opportunity to review all the information, the statement said. A date has not yet been set.

Dentists call for return of fluoride in Moncton water

It was on Dec. 19, 2011, that council voted to stop adding hexafluorosilicic acid to the water supply for five years, “at which time it will be reviewed.”

The motion included a pledge to ask the provincial Health Department or the New Brunswick Dental Society or both to collect data during the five-year period “using valid statistical research methods, comparing dental cary rates among individuals of different ages in fluoridated vs. non-fluoridated communities in New Brunswick, in order that the issue may be appropriately assessed.”

50% increase in tooth decay in children

Earlier this fall, the New Brunswick Dental Society publicly urged Moncton to resume the practice of putting fluoride in the water.

“A tremendous change” has occurred in the level of tooth decay in Moncton patients in the last five years, vice-president Suzanne Drapeau-McNally had said in September.

She estimated tooth decay in children has increased approximately 50 per cent. Elderly patients are also exhibiting more decay, she said.

The Department of Health did not conduct a study to measure the effects.

“The benefits of fluoridation are well-documented for all individuals in the community regardless of age, education, or socio-economic status,” spokeswoman Véronique Taylor had said.

Council voted to remove flouoride following a call to do so by a Moncton group that argued water fluoridation was “dangerous and a violation of rights.”