GRAVENHURST – Yes, there is in fact something in the water.
Although essentially in every public water system in the province and nation, the use of fluoride in Muskoka’s water has a group of local citizens concerned and hoping to see the district end its use.
“The concern we have is that we have more than 4,000 health professionals telling us this is not safe to swallow,” said health care professional and nutritionist Ruth Bednar of Gravenhurst.
“We’re ingesting five times more fluoride than when it was introduced (to drinking water systems) in 1951 and now it’s in all of our food.”
“The detrimental effects of fluoride are very real and our children are the most susceptible,” she added. “The problem is a lot of the public just doesn’t realize the dangers, but support for drinking water fluoridation is now evaporating in a lot of places.”
Muskoka Citizens Opposing Fluoridation (MCOF) was officially formed earlier this summer and held its first official meeting in Gravenhurst just a couple of weeks ago to strategize.
Bednar said the group includes local business and health professionals who are trying to educate the public about the potential dangers of consuming too much fluoride.
“Because it’s in the drinking water, it’s in a lot of things that people just don’t realize. It’s in every can of pop, every bottle of beer, even in boneless chicken and our food,” she said.
The type of fluoride introduced in 1951 is not the same as what is being used now, with a more dangerous version introduced in 1980, she added. “And there are typically no warnings; there’s no warnings on our water bills that mothers should not be using tap water to prepare milk and that no one under three should consume fluoride. Because it’s in everything, we have no idea how much we’re consuming.”
She said fluoride can contain other harmful agents, such as arsenic, mercury or lead and can affect the body in many different ways.
“It can affect your kidneys, it can affect your bones. Fluoride poisoning feels a lot like arthritis and accumulates in the body and can affect IQ and the thyroid,” Bednar said.
“And the list goes on. We simply should not be swallowing this; brush and spit and that’s it.”
Bednar said it is a movement that is starting to gain legs in the province and country, with as many as 46 towns, cities or municipalities cancelling drinking water fluoridation including the City of Orillia, which cancelled their program this past July.
“There are thousands of reports out now, the latest major one came out in July by Harvard University and we are really only just learning the effects fluoridation has on us,” she said. “We know it’s going to be an uphill battle, but if we can educate the public about our concerns, that’s the start.”
If anyone would like more information about the group or to join, check out their website at http://muskokacof.webs.com/