Citizens in Tallahassee, FL ask some serious questions
by Tom Termotto, BCIM
There’s a continuing saga in Tallahassee, FL that has gone on for many years, which is representative of similar sagas that are taking place across America. It all revolves around the water – specifically the water that is filtered and treated by municipal water quality divisions in every city and county throughout the nation.
A Tale of Two Separate and Independent Inquiries:
Unknown to each other for many years, two healthcare professionals in Tallahassee, FL began their independent research around the quality of Tallahassee drinking water. Dr. Tom Termotto, an Integrative Health Consultant and author of this article, chose to focus on the unintended consequences, toxic side effects and collateral damage caused by two standard operating procedures long in place at the municipal water quality division in Tallahassee, FL. Dr. Ron Saff focused on the myriad chemicals, contaminants and toxins that find their way into the water by various means and from a multitude of sources. Quite fortuitously for the citizens of Tallahassee, their paths crossed when they were both opposing the siting of a biomass incinerator last year in Gretna, FL.
Both of these longstanding environmental health advocates knew that there was something very wrong with the water in Tallahassee, yet realized that there were so many vectors of groundwater contamination it could take years to accurately diagnose both the sources and the numerous chemical contaminants. Hence, a collaboration was formed which has taken this citizens’ initiative all the way to the Mayor’s office and beyond. Just this month Mayor John Marks announced his intention to form of a Citizens’ Task Force, which will be appointed to further study and act upon the many negative aspects of Tallahassee drinking water. Some of these issues have been found to be so problematic that they have, and will continue to translate to, a whole host of serious health issues and medical conditions within the local drinking and bathing population.
Where Dr. Saff has set his gaze upon the list of chemicals which the US Environmental Protection Agency and FL Department of Environmental Protection have identified as carcinogenic, toxic to the human body and especially deleterious to infants, young children, pregnant mothers and their fetuses, Dr. Tom has focused on the water treatment processes that are further contributing to the problems and, in some cases, making a simple problem exponentially worse due to profound interactions causing unintended consequences.
Just what water treatment processes are we talking about?
One of the major components and preferred method of water treatment throughout the USA has been the standard chlorination procedure, which has been in use for many decades. It was first utilized over 100 years ago, and since WWII has been the primary disinfection treatment by virtually every municipal water district in the land. What’s inherently defective about this method of disinfecting water? And, that is its only purpose – disinfection.
“Disinfection by chlorination can be problematic, in some circumstances. Chlorine can react with naturally occurring organic compounds found in the water supply to produce dangerous compounds, known as disinfection byproducts (DBPs). The most common DBPs are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). Due to the carcinogenicpotential of these compounds, federal regulations in the United States of America require regular monitoring of the concentration of these compounds in the distribution systems of municipal water systems.” (Per Wikipedia)
Just in case you didn’t understand this, here’s another phrasing from the water experts at Doulton/H2O International Inc. in Ontario, CA.
“What concerns health officials are the chlorination by-products, “chlorinated hydrocarbons,”known as trihalomethanes (THM’s). Most THM’s are formed in drinking water when chlorine reacts with naturally occurring substances such as decomposing plant and animal materials. Risks for certain types of cancer are now being correlated to the use of chlorinated drinking water. Suspected carcinogens make the human body more vulnerable through repeated ingestion and research indicates the incidents of cancer are 44% higher among those using chlorinated water.”
That’s twice now that you have read that the very process that is designed to treat our municipal water also has the unintended consequence of polluting it – with a carcinogen. We encourage all readers of this article to further research this matter so that, by becoming well acquainted with a fairly unknown issue, they can provide their local water authorities with this critical information.
What other toxic side effects does chlorination produce? Did you know that there is a direct correlation between chlorine and depression? Repeated exposure to chlorine, in both its liquid and gaseous form, can greatly contribute to physically induced chronic depression. How de we know this? Many allopathic and alternative healthcare practitioners have recommended to their clients to stop drinking the tap water and begin drinking distilled or activated carbon filtered water, which are both free of chlorine. Much anecdotal evidence and clinical observation has revealed that, in many cases, the months or years of depression go away very quickly, never to return again, when such depression is in fact due to chronic exposure to chlorinated water. This phenomenon is even more dramatic when the often-female client installs a whole house de-chlorination system in her garage and eliminates her exposure to the previously chlorinated bath water.
What other water treatment processes are we talking about?
All of us have heard the question, “What are they drinking?” This question is alternatively posited as “They’re drinking the water, aren’t they?” Phrased another way: “They must be drinking the Kool-Aidin Tallahassee!”
Nothing – and we mean nothing – turns water into kool-aid quicker than the fluoridation of a city’s water supply. Hydrofluorosilisic acid (aka fluoride) simply has no place in any water supply. “This form of fluoride chemical added to water is an industrial by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry. Unlike the fluoride used in toothpaste, hydrofluorosilicic acid is not pharmaceutical-grade quality. It is an unpurified, industrial-grade, corrosive acid which has been linked, in several recent studies, to increased levels of lead in children’s blood.”(Per FAN) This is the liquid form it usually takes when it is introduced by water districts all over the country. Here in Tallahassee, it is no different. So, just what are the real health and medical issues surrounding this mysterious and generally misunderstood chemical known as fluoride, as well as the process known as fluoridation? And why is the City of Tallahassee allowed to deliberately contaminate its water supply with a known toxin?!
Fluoride Action Network Speaks Out:
Let’s begin by stating some facts about fluoride ingestion and exposure when the aggregate amount from all sources is considered, especially including the tap water as the primary source. All of the following quotes come from the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), an organization staffed by MD’s, PhD’s, scientists, medical researchers and health investigators from across a broad of range of disciplines and specialties. Much of their cross-referenced research has been peer-reviewed and published in the most authoritative journals and professional publications.
(1) Fluoride & Dental Fluorosis – “Excessive ingestion of fluoride during the early childhood years may damage the tooth-forming cells, leading to a defect in the enamel known as dental fluorosis.” Relevant scientific research provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) can be found at the following link.
(2) Fluoride & Allergy/Hypersensitivity – “Symptoms of allergic/hypersensitive
reactions have been reported to include: skin rashes (e.g. dermatitis, urticaria,
eczema); mouth lesions (canker sores); gastric distress; headache; joint pain;
weakness; visual disturbances; and lethargy.” (Per Physician’s Desk Reference)
The site below also links to research published in the Journal of Dental Medicine.
(3) Fluoride & the Kidneys – “The kidneys play a vital role in preventing the build-up of excessive fluoride in the body. Among healthy individuals, the kidneys excrete approximately 50% of the daily fluoride intake. However, among individuals with kidney disease, the kidneys’ ability to excrete becomes markedly impaired, resulting in a build-up of fluoride within the body.”
(4) Fluoride & the Brain – “Concern about fluoride’s impact on the brain has been fueled by 18 human studies (from China, Mexico, India, and Iran) reporting IQ deficits among children exposed to excess fluoride, by 4 human studies indicating that fluoride can enter, and damage, the fetal brain; and by a growing number of animal studies finding damage to brain tissue (at levels as low as 1 ppm) and impairment of learning and memory among fluoride-treated groups.”
(5) Fluoride & the Thyroid Gland – “Today, many people living in fluoridated communities are ingesting doses of fluoride (1.6-6.6 mg/day) that fall within the range of doses (2 to 10 mg/day) once used by doctors to reduce thyroid activity in hyperthyroid patients. This is of particular concernconsidering the widespread problem of hypothyroidism (under-active thyroid) in the United States. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include obesity, lethargy, depression, and heart disease.”
(6) Fluoride & Bone – “Excessive exposure to fluoride causes an arthrtiic bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. Skeletal fluorosis, especially in its early stages, is a difficult disease to diagnose, and can be readily confused with various forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. In the advanced stages, fluorosis can resemble a multitude of bone/joint diseases, including: osteosclerosis, renal osteodystrophy, DISH, spondylosis,osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and secondary hyperparathyroidism.”
(7) Fluoride & Bone Fracture – “Studies on human populations consuming fluoride in drinking water have found an association between dental fluorosis and increased bone fracture in children; and between long-term consumption of fluoridated water and increased hip fracture in the elderly.”
(8) Fluoride & Cancer – “Fluoride has been found to cause bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in government animal studies and rates of osteosarcoma among young males living in fluoridated areas have been found to be higher than young males living in unfluoridated areas. Osteosarcoma, while rare, is a very serious cancer. Children who develop osteosarcoma face a high probability of death (usually within 3 years) or amputation.”
(9) Fluoride & the Gastrointestinal Tract – “Among people hypersensitive to fluoride, gastrointestinal ailments have been produced following ingestion of 1 mg tablets of fluoride or consumption of 1 ppm fluoridated water. A single ingestion of as little as 3 mg of fluoride, in carefully controlled clinical trials, has been found to produce damage to the gastric mucosa in healthy adult volunteers.” http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/gi/index.html
(10) Fluoride & Tooth Decay – “According to the current consensus view of the
dental research community, fluoride’s primary – if not sole – benefit to teeth
comes from TOPICAL application to the exterior surface of teeth, not from
ingestion. Perhaps not surprisingly, therefore, tooth decay rates have declined at
similar rates in all western countries in the latter half of the 20th century –
decay rates throughout continental western Europe are as low as the tooth decay
rates in the United States – despite a profound disparity in water fluoridation
prevalence in the two regions.”
(11) Flouride & the Reproductive System – “High doses of fluoride have repeatedly
been found to interfere with the reproductive system of animals. Commonly
observed effects in fluoride-exposed animals include: oxidative stress, damaged
sperm, reduced sperm count, and reduced fertility.”
(12) Fluoride & the Pineal Gland – “Up until the 1990s, no research had ever been
conducted to determine the impact of fluoride on the pineal gland – a small gland
located between the two hemispheres of the brain that regulates the production of
the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the onset of
puberty and helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. It is
now known – thanks to the meticulous research of Dr. Jennifer Luke from the
University of Surrey in England – that the pineal gland is the primary target of
fluoride accumulation within the body. The soft tissue of the adult pineal gland
contains more fluoride than any other soft tissue in the body – a level of fluoride
(~300 ppm) capable of inhibiting enzymes. The pineal gland also contains hard
tissue (hydroxyapatite crystals), and this hard tissue accumulates more fluoride
(up to 21,000 ppm) than any other hard tissue in the body (e.g. teeth and bone).”
(13) Respiratory Risks from Occupational Fluoride Exposure –
“Government claims* (which remain as unsubstantiated claims – Per Author*)
of safety have been shown to be fatally wrong. Over the past 20 years, a vast
body of epidemiological and experimental research has proven that allowable
levels of fluoride in the workplace is hazardous to lung function, increasing the
risk of several respiratory disorders including asthma, bronchitis, and
emphysema. For many workers, the fluoride-induced damage to lung function
persists long after they cease working. While workers in industry are often
exposed to multiple air contaminants, large-scale epidemiological studies have
repeatedly found that fluoride dusts and gases (at levels as low as 0.05 mg/mg3)
are the key irritant responsible for the high rate of respiratory illness. The risk to
respiratory function from fluoride exposure is independent of the risk from
smoking, but the combination of fluoride exposure and smoking presents a risk
greater than either factor by itself.”
(14) Fluoride Exposure during Infancy – “Not only is fluoride ingestion during
infancy unnecessary, it can also be harmful – as suggested by a mounting body of
evidence linking fluoride exposure during the first year of life with the
development of dental fluorosis. Because of the risk for dental fluorosis, and the
lack of demonstrable benefit from ingesting fluoride before teeth erupt, the
American Dental Association - and a growing number of dental researchers -
recommend that children under 12 months of age should not consume
fluoridated water while babies under 6 months of age should not receive any
fluoride drops or pills.”
What other unintended consequences have emerged from water fluoridation?
There are other unintended consequences with far-reaching ramifications that result directly from the fluoridation of municipal water supplies. For instance, did you know that in the process of fluoridating water two toxic byproducts occur in considerably higher concentrations, both of which are considered by all appropriate regulatory agencies to be dangerous to human health at any level above those that are truly naturally occurring? We’re talking about lead and arsenic here. The following paper was originally presented to the State Lead Commission Hearing in Hannibal, MO in 1994.
Water fluoridation has been shown to significantly increase lead and arsenic exposure. “Fluoride compounds put into water are often contaminated with lead, arsenic and radio- nuclides since the fluoride compounds are toxic waste byproducts which largely come from pollution scrubbers of fertilizer plants. A study published in 2000 showed that the dumping of toxic silicofluoride compounds into water (“fluoridation”) causes an increase in blood lead levels in children.” (Per FAN)
The following statements come from NSF International website and ought to be seriously considered by every mother or expecting mother who resides within a fluoridating water district.
“Fluoride chemicals added to public water supplies, boosts lead absorption in lab animals’ bones, teeth and blood, report Sawan, et al. (Toxicology 2/2010). Earlier studies already show children’s blood-lead-levels are higher in fluoridated communities, reports Sawan’s research team.
“…exposure to increased amounts of lead and fluoride occurs at about the same age (1-3 years)… Therefore, this is a critical time when systemic exposure to fluoride should be minimized since fluoride may increase lead accumulation,” the researchers caution.
Low-level lead exposure is associated with lower IQ, ADHD and many health and behavior ailments.”
NSF International is a private company that regulates public water supply additives. February 2008 NSF reported that 2% of the 245 fluoridation chemicals sampled from 2000 to 2006 had detectable levels of Lead. (There are approximately 155,000 US public water supplies.) Lead is an allowable trace contaminant in fluoridation chemicals along with antimony, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, selenium, and thallium.”
Dangerous Combinations, Interactions & Synergies:
NSF has produced the “NSF Fact Sheet on Fluoridation Chemicals” that reveals much of what has gone wrong in this water treatment, filtration and purification industry. The operative word here is “wrong”. When toxicologists study chemicals and their numerous permutations in isolation, they ignore the vast number of potential combinations, interactions and resulting synergies, which can substantially ramp up their toxic side effects. There is in fact a great void in the scientific literature concerning these matters even in the analysis of tap water.
In the few instances where research has been undertaken to identify these reactions, it is clear that highly toxic byproducts are produced that can do great harm to the human body, especially the developing fetus, the infant and young child. Drinking tainted water like Tallahassee tap water on a regular basis should be done only with the full knowledge of what is also being ingested with the water.
It our contention that full disclosure has not taken place in earnest, and is unlikely to take place in most of the water districts throughout the country. If such revelation was commonplace in the Water Quality Annual Reports, there would certainly be a strong recommendation within each for the purchase of a home-based, point of use filtration system. If for nothing else, at least as a dislaimer to hold harmless the legally responsible water district.
Are Water Districts illegally practicing medicine without a license?
It is extremely important to bear in mind that there is only one reason which has been proffered as justification for medicating an entire population within a water district. We’ve all heard the completely unjustified and totally ridiculous explanation that water fluoridation somehow prevents childhood cavities. What is really surprising is not the extraordinary and over the top sales pitch that has encouraged the routine introduction of a known toxin into the nation’s water supply; rather it is the fact that so many academics, scientists and researchers bought into a scheme to poison a national population!
Here’s what a very prescient author stated in their recent essay that appeared at the Natural News website:
“Municipalities all across America are currently dripping fluoride chemicals
into their public water supply, dosing over a hundred million Americans with
a chemical that they claim “prevents cavities.”
What’s interesting here is that this biological effect of “preventing
cavities” is a medical claim, according to the FDA. And as such, making this
claim instantly and automatically transforms fluoride into a “drug” under
currently FDA regulations.
This means that cities and towns all across America are now practicing
medicine without a license by dripping liquid medication into the public
water supply without the consent of those who are swallowing the medication.”
Yes, it is quite shocking that a municipality has arrogated unto itself the illegal power to medicate an entire population. The toxic side effects and health consequences clearly amount to the gradual, difficult to detect, poisoning of a whole community. The citizens in Tallahassee will no longer idly stand by in the face of such an insidiously undertaken chemical assault.
The link below furnishes each reader, from whom common sense has not fled, with 50 very good reasons why our governments should not be fluoridating the water. Only because aware and informed people everywhere have not stepped forward to stop this dangerous and unsafe practice, does it continue. The only thing separating our city, as well as communities everywhere, from fluoride-free, non-toxic and safe drinking water is accurate and truthful information.
Let’s all do our part in disseminating and sharing this information however, wherever and whenever we can. Our lives, and quality of life, greatly depend on it.
Dr. Tom Termotto, BCIM, DCAE
President, Healthcare Professionals for Clean Environment
National Coordinator, COALITION AGAINST CHEMICAL TRESPASS
Co-Founder, Concerned Citizens of Florida