Sporting a stack of research she’s found on fluoride, local health advocate Maureen Logue has been busy this past week preparing for Monday night’s city council meeting.
“There’s always something new,” she said, pouring over her latest batch of findings that back up her opinion that fluoridation of the city’s drinking water isn’t the way to go.
Logue’s latest finding is in the work of Dr. Hardy Limeback – the head of the Department of Preventative Dentistry at the University of Toronto.
A former advocate for water fluoridation, Limeback reversed his stance about 10 years ago.
“After reading the evidence, he had a change of heart,” Logue explained.
“Fluoride does not need to be swallowed to be effective,” an open letter by Limeback dated about 10 years ago reads. “It is not an essential nutrient. Nor should it be considered a desirable `supplement’ for children living in non-fluoridated areas… Even if there were a systemic benefit from ingestion of fluoride, it would be miniscule and clinically irrelevant.”
Whereas toothpaste containers read, “do not ingest,” fluoridated water is ingested at an uncontrolled rate.
“Fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication,” Logue wrote in a letter to council. “Once fluoride is added to the water supply there is no way to control who and how much people are getting.”
A growing number of communities are discontinuing the fluoridation of their water – a decision in the hands of elected officials, which is one of the key reasons Logue is meeting with council Monday night.
The City of Calgary’s elected officials voted 10-3 in early 2011 to discontinue the injection of fluoride into the city’s drinking water, allowing residents to join 55 per cent of Canadians that do not receive fluoridated water.
Given no direction to the contrary, the city’s ongoing upgrades to the water treatment plant includes $75,000 to replace the part of the system that adds fluoride.
“This upgrade should help decrease the probability of a dosing (issue),” the Herald quotes the city’s manager of capital projects and planning Scott Golding as saying last year.
The operating costs related adding fluoride sits between $8,000 and $10,000 a year.
There’s a long list of confirmed and alleged negative effects related to the ingestion of fluoride, including lowered IQ and skeletal fluorosis, which can result in joint pain, restriction of mobility, and possibly increase the risk of some bone fractures.
But, these negative effects kick in when one has consumed an excessive amount of fluoride, Health Canada has asserted.
As such, under the Canadian drinking water guidelines, the maximum acceptable concentration of fluoride in drinking water is 1.5 parts per million. The City of Prince Albert’s drinking water is set at only 0.7 parts per million.
In addition to her hopes of encouraging the city’s elected officials to support the discontinuation of adding fluoride into the city’s drinking water, Logue hopes to share her information around fluoride with the public at large.
“The public needs to be aware of what the professionals are aware of,” she said.
As such, she hopes to see members of the public attend Monday night’s council meeting, during which time Logue is set to appear as a delegation. The meeting is set to begin at 5 p.m. at council chambers with City Hall.