Fluoridation related accidents, malfunctions, overfeeds, and worker errors have shockingly been commonplace since the start of the practice. The most recent example is the current fluoridation crisis and negligent actions of elected officials occurring in Sandy, Utah over the past two weeks.
A power outage during a snowstorm in Sandy on Wednesday, February 6th caused a pump to flood parts of the town’s drinking water system with dangerously high levels of fluoridation chemicals, which then corroded the pipes allowing high levels of copper and lead to enter the system for nearly 2,200 homes, schools, and businesses. The Utilities Director claims that water treatment staff didn’t know the excess fluoride had entered the water system after the pump failure, and therefore didn’t immediately warn residents.
Suspiciously, local and state officials have yet to publicly report what level of fluoride they found in the system. One TV news reporter said it could be upwards of 150 times the normal amount, but all officials have made public is that it was over 10 milligrams per liter. Numerous residents reported headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal pains and issues. Among those reported to have become ill included a 3-month old baby and area pets.
Residents and the local media have also reported that the city failed to quickly notify the state of Utah or its residents about the dangerous contamination. Many residents stated that they weren’t actually made aware of the contamination until the city sent out its first news release alert over a week later on the 15th.
Possibly the most damning act of negligence committed was the removal of “Do Not Ingest” from the initial warning to residents. The Utilities Director removed the words intentionally, but has yet to explain even to the Mayor why he did so. The Mayor eventually put the Utilities Director, Tom Ward, on paid administrative leave to “restore the public’s confidence,” in the water sytem.
In addition, local and state officials have done a poor job of explaining the potential harm to citizens, particularly pregnant women and parents of small children, instead choosing to ignore fluoride and focus their health advice on overexposure to lead and copper.
The city was ultimately cited by the State Division of Drinking Water for failing to notify the public adequately and for exceeding safe fluoride levels.
Two public meetings have been held so far to discuss the event and future action. At the most recent, over 100 angry residents questioned and criticized the Mayor and Utilities Director for negligence, delayed warnings, and for adding fluoridation chemicals to their drinking water in the first place. Many residents called for and applauded ending the practice altogether.
So far the public pressure has caused the Mayor to announce that the town will hold a forum on whether to remove fluoridation chemicals from the drinking water. The City Council has also voted to open an independent investigation into how the malfunction occurred and how the city responded. The investigation will be led a three member team of “technical experts”, and may be assisted by a citizen advisory council.
Both county and state legislators are now calling for an investigation of fluoridation in Salt Lake and Davis counties, as well as a moratorium on the practice throughout Utah. The Mayor of Salt Lake City stated that unless state legislators ban the practice, by law Salt Lake area voters must make the decision with a question on the ballot.
In the latest update, the State Health Department has announced that they will now be conducting free blood tests on impacted residents on a first come, first serve basis. I suspect this data will be made available to the public, either voluntarily or through a Right to Know / Freedom of Information Act request.
Fluoridation Accidents Are Common
Pro-fluoridation officials have responded by claiming that accidents like this are very rare. As usual, their claim is factually incorrect. Fluoridation-related accidents happen on a regular basis, endangering millions of residents. FAN has put together a list of accidents that have occurred primarily since 2000 and have been reported by media outlets. These even include two accidents in the Salt Lake City area that hospitalized a water worker, contaminated a local stream, and killed wild animals.
As you view our accident list, keep in mind that many go unreported. I suspect this list could easily be doubled or even tripled with additional research into Department of Transportation rail and trucking accident records, OSHA records, and State Groundwater records. In 2016, a FAN investigation by Doug Cragoe uncovered a widespread failure by local and state officials in Texas to warn water customers about the presence of toxic levels of fluoride. I suspect similar negligence could be found in most, if not all states.
If you would like to help FAN improve our database of fluoridation-related accidents, please first review our list above, and if you are able to find and confirm an accident not currently listed, please email your findings to: email@example.com
Fluoridation Leaches Metals Even When “Optimal”
A fluoridation accident or overfeed doesn’t have to occur to cause leaching of heavy metals from the drinking water infrastructure. It happens with the so-called “optimal” level of fluoridation additives as well.
FAN has created a webpage where you can follow the media coverage, public hearings, and stay up to date on the massive fluoridation overfeed in Utah. We will continue to update this page as the crisis and ensuing investigation continues:
Fluoride Action Network