The Henry Kroeger Water Treatment Plant here in town is hoping to make some new health and safety related changes to their facilities in upcoming months.
Garth Carl, operations manager at the treatment plant, said that new machinery will be brought in that uses salt and electricity to disinfect the water instead of the highly dangerous chlorine gas, and the fluoride part of the process will be removed altogether.
Some concerns were expressed in the community, however, at notice given about the removal of the fluoridation part of the treatment system.
“Dental health affects general health,” said Brenda Legare, a concerned citizen, “if you’ve got problems in your mouth, you are going to have problems in the rest of your system.”
Legare said that there was not enough notice given to the communities for them to argue the decision.
“One by one,” Legare said, “cities all over the world are putting it into their water, and we’re going to take it out?”
Dr. Dave Warwick, a dentist in town, said that consuming fluoride does not have any effect on your oral health.
“The benefits of fluoride are topical,” Dr. Warwick said, “not from ingestion.”
He said that dentists first thought that when you ate fluoride while a tooth was forming while you were at a young age, that it would protect them from the acid and bacteria that causes tooth decay. He also said that idea has been proven completely wrong, and even the people that completely support fluoride admit that it’s not true.
“There’s basically two ways that fluoride benefits us: one is that it’s an antibiotic at higher concentrations in the water because it’s toxic it kills bacteria, but it has to be in the level and concentration that toothpaste is at. Secondly it may help — and this is sketchy — that it might possibly carry calcium to bones that have been damaged, and it might help re-calcify them.”
Warwick says that even the Centre for Disease Control says that the concentration of the chemical is way too low for it to have any beneficial health effects.
“Even at low concentrations it’s toxic, because it builds up and essentially grows as a toxin as we consume it.”
He said that overexposure to fluoride is responsible for fluorosis, which is the white mottled staining on teeth, as well as thyroid damage, neurological developmental problems, and impairs the body’s ability to handle glucose.
“We felt that it would be in our best interests to err on the side of caution,” said Garth Carl, the operations manager at the plant. “The American Dental Association is now saying that infants from zero-to-12-months-old should not be consuming fluoridated water that contains a concentration of more than 7-parts-per-million. Our water is point-eight.”
Garth said that based on the fact that the mothers who do not breast-feed often use tap water to mix the formula, that the exposure to the high levels of fluoride in the water could lead to serious issues with their bone development, disabilities, and a number of other health and developmental problems. He also said that if parents want to fluoridate their children that it should be their responsibility to do it themselves, in their own homes and through their dentist.
“The notice went in the paper on April 29. From then on people have had a one-month window to appeal it.” During the one month period, the DTHR appealed it and were invited to the board meeting to make their presentation on the pro’s of fluoridation.
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NOTE FROM FAN: The Henry Kroeger Regional Water Services currently serves the community of Hanna as well as Delia and Craigmyle. See more about their new Ultra Violet water treatment system.