Say no to toxic contaminants

By From page A6 | September 17, 2013

Among the many health and safety concerns regarding fluoridation in Davis is city staff’s proposed use of industrial-grade hexafluorosilicic acid as the fluoride source for fluoridation of the surface water project. Hexafluorosilicic acid was chosen because it is much cheaper than pharmaceutical-grade sodium fluoride used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, prescription fluoride tablets and drops.

Hexafluorosilicic acid is a waste byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is scraped from precipitators used to scrub pollutants from exhaust in the fertilizer manufacturing process. Were it not for the fact that this chemical is sold to municipalities as a source of fluoride for drinking water, it otherwise would have to be disposed of as a hazardous waste because of its corrosivity and toxicity.

Compounding the toxic nature of this chemical is the fact that it is purified only to industrial grade. As a result, all of the hexafluorosilicic acid sold to municipalities is contaminated to some degree with measurable quantities of toxic heavy metals.

Recently, the state of Utah passed a bill, the “Safe Drinking Water Disclosure Act” — HB 72, which requires sellers of chemicals used to fluoridate water in their state to fully disclose such contaminants and their concentrations. The bill forces the chemical companies to disclose exactly what is contained in the brew of fluoridation chemicals being dumped into Utah’s drinking water.

The fluoridation companies came under intense scrutiny after Utah’s analysis of various spills and releases of fluoridation chemicals. Those studies revealed that in addition to fluoride, there were many contaminant chemicals far in excess of allowable limits for safe drinking water, including aluminum, arsenic, lead, mercury and beryllium.

We think the citizens of Davis deserve no less disclosure should our council ultimately elect to pursue fluoridation here in Davis. One of the promises proponents made when selling the water project to Davis citizens was that we would have a source of clean drinking water. Now we are considering adding known toxins to that water.

Pam Nieberg

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