Are you familiar with the fluoridation issue?
As a Member of City Council, I prepared and participated in the April 2011 debate at City Council. I have continued to follow the issue, in other Canadian municipalities. Earlier this year, I met with the Fluoride Free Lethbridge group and we shared our respective ideas and opinions on the matter, in a very respectful conversation. I am very comfortable in my understanding of the fluoridation issue.
Did you know that the hydrofluorosilicic acid (fluoride) added to Lethbridge City water is not naturally occurring fluoride?
This is also known as hexafluorosilicic acid, which is an inorganic compound - (H3O)2SiF6. It is important to note that our "Waterworks Approval" from Alberta Environment requires a Fluoride concentration in the treated drinking water of between 0.7mg/L and 0.9mg/L. As a side note, our water is also treated with other "not naturally occurring" agents, such as hypochlorous acid - HOCl.
The Canadian Environmental Protection Act, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Transport Canada classify hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) as a Class 8 Corrosive dangerous good and a Class 1 Hazardous Waste because it is “persistent,” “bio-accumulative,” and “toxic.” The City of Lethbridge spends $85,000 on HFSA, but $84,000 worth is never consumed and never makes contact with anyone’s teeth. Instead, it is used for doing laundry, watering lawns, washing cars, bathing, etc. and flows through our sewer and drainage systems eventually poisoning our environment.
a) Is this practice environmentally responsible?
The 0.7mg/L to 0.9mg/L fluoridation limit required by Alberta Environment is such a diluted rate in 1 litre of water that it would have virtually no impact. The CEPA and Transport Canada information you cite regards the handling of fluoride in a concentrated quantity - any amount - and the transport of fluoride over road or rail, such as the 83,000 litres in an average rail tanker. Additionally, waste water (down the drain) is also treated before being discharged into the Oldman River. It is more environmentally friendly to xeroscape your lawn (reducing water use) and water your garden from rain barrels.
b) Is this practice a cost effective or efficient way to deliver a topical tooth treatment?
While I am curious as to what data you are citing in your "The City of Lethbridge spends $85,000 on HFSA, but $84,000 worth is never consumed and never makes contact with anyone’s teeth" statement, current research reviewed and supported by Alberta Health Services indicates the effectiveness and efficiency of this delivery. There are also apparent benefits to bone growth and density.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) has no authority to administer a drug, supplement or food without an individual’s informed consent. Are you aware, therefore, that AHS, by recommending water fluoridation, is imposing on council members to do precisely what AHS itself is prohibited by law to do?
... and Alberta Environment - the regulation agency for water fluoridation - has the legislative authority to ban the use of fluoride province wide. We ought to have a consistent provincial standard: either we all fluoridate water or none of us do.
Do you agree that Lethbridge water fluoridation needs to be discontinued?
Current research reviewed and supported by Alberta Health Services indicates the effectiveness and efficiency of this delivery. There are also benefits to bone growth and density.
Would you like more information about fluoridation?
Thank you for the offer. I currently receive regular updates from Fluoride Free Lethbridge (via email with links and data), the Canadian Dental Association, Oral Health Journal, Alberta Environment, Alberta Health Services and the City of Lethbridge Water Treatment Plant (the annual regulatory compliance and safety statement report). Thank you for the survey and for participating in this election.