Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

31 Dec 2016

Ten reasons why sodium fluoridation of Durango’s water deserves a public vote in 2017

Posted by Adam Howell


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A ballot initiative petition drive by registered voters in Durango succeeded in getting enough signatures to put the removal of sodium fluoride from the drinking water on the election ballot in April.

City Council will be taking a vote next week (February 7th?) on whether to preemptively remove sodium fluoride from the water at the petitioner’s request. Here’s why it’s important:
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    1. The Technical Data Sheet for the product that the City of Durango puts in its municipal drinking water states that “Sodium Fluoride is poisonous when taken internally.”
    2. It is considered by the FDA to be a drug, and therefore its consumers should have to imply consent to their treatment with sodium fluoride before they are fed the drug in the public water without them knowing about it.
    3. Sodium fluoride is not a nutrient.
    4. Sodium fluoride (NaF) is derived from the smokestack scrubbers of the fertilizer industry, according to Jim Forleo, a Durango resident who’s leading a ballot initiative that could allow Durango voters to decide if the City should be allowed to continue fluoridating municipal drinking water. An excerpt from Wikipedia on sodium fluoride production says that “NaF is prepared by neutralizing hydrofluoric acid or hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6), byproducts of the reaction of fluorapatite (Ca5(PO4)3F) (from phosphate rock) from the production of superphosphate fertilizer.”
    5. Several studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children.
    6. fluorosis-imageDental fluorosis has become a common condition that’s characterized by hypomineralization of tooth enamel due to the excessive swallowing of fluoride by young children with developing teeth, according to the Cochrane Oral Health Group.
    7. Removing sodium fluoride from tap water can be expensive for low-income people who cannot afford a proper water filtration system. A reverse osmosis system can cost anywhere from $117 to $1,000 dollars. A water deionizer system costs $60.
    8. Rates of tooth decay for people living in countries that have-non fluoridated municipal drinking water have declined since 1970 at the same rate as countries with fluoridated water like the U.S., according to the World Health Organization.
    9. The EPA says that “For the technical grade active ingredient, sodium fluoride has a high order of toxicity via the oral route of exposure (Toxicity Category II) and a moderate order of toxicity via the dermal and inhalation routes of exposure (Toxicity Category III).” Reregistration Eligibility Decision for Sodium Fluoride
    10. Sodium fluoridation of Durango’s drinking water is being championed by the same Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that erroneously told the citizens of Colorado that drinking water in Hugo had been contaminated with THC. For those newcomers, THC is not water soluble, according to chemists that professionally test marijuana.

According to the City of Durango’s Water Treatment Superintendant Dave Ferguson:

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Image obtained from a website on the internet.

“The fluoridation product we use is Sodium Fluoride (NaF).  Our supplier is Univar and is packaged under the Solvay brand.

Fluoride Addition:

Naturally occurring fluoride concentrations in our raw water supply average 0.24 parts per million (ppm) throughout the year. The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment,  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the US Department of Health and Human Services currently recommends a 0.7 ppm Fluoride concentration in drinking water for optimum oral health. Water Treatment Plant staff dose or add fluoride at an average of 0.46 ppm throughout the year (continuously) in order to achieve the 0.7 ppm goal. This means that for every 1,000,000 parts of treated water, there are 0.7 parts of Fluoride in the City’s drinking water.”

Ferguson has not yet responded to the question as to how much the City of Durango is currently spending on fluoridating the drinking water on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis. This post will be updated, if and when he responds.

To find a ballot initiative petition to sign that could allow voters in Durango to decide this April if the City’s water should continue to be fluoridated, visit Clean Water Durango or contact this blogger through the tab on the menu bar of this blog.

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This snapshot of a press release from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment was posted after law enforcement in Hugo erroneously reported that the municipal drinking water there was contaminated with THC.

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