Fluoride Action Network

Recent Fluoridation Related Accidents and Overfeeds

Fluoride Action Network | April 2019

The following accidents, spills, and overfeeds were only what was reported publicly and found online. There is little doubt that the actual number of incidents is likely many times higher, particularly overfeeds and spills.

2023 – Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

A pump valve failure caused a fluoridation chemical overfeed for an unknown period of time, increasing drinking water fluoride levels to a shocking 13ppm, nearly 20-times higher than normal. Residents weren’t notified until two months later.

2023 – Shadyside, Ohio

A fluoridation chemical overfeed at the water treatment plant led to “way too much fluoride” in drinking water and government warnings “not to drink tap water,” as well as cancellation of school for a day.

2022 – Sunset, Utah

A malfunction at the water treatment plant caused a fluoridation chemical overfeed into the public water supply.

2022 – Lancaster, Pennsylvania

A fluoridation chemical overfeed occurred for a week during Christmas, causing water fluoride levels to remain 300% higher than normal. Officials waited a month to tell residents and provided incomplete and inadequate information on safety risks posed by the overfeed.

2022 – Mitchell County, North Carolina

A tanker truck carrying fluoridation chemicals, hydrofluorosilicic acid, had a tire blow, which caused a valve to break. This spilled acid into the roadway and surrounding ecosystem, causing roads to be closed and environmental damage.

2021 – New Baltimore, Michigan

The distributor for fluoridation chemicals to the city mislabeled a container of sulfuric acid (battery acid) as fluorosilicic acid (the fluoride additive), and 70 gallons were added to the water treatment plant storage container for use in the public drinking water of 14,000 residents. Fortunately, staff could smell the chemical reaction and stopped fluoride injection.

2021 – Baltimore, Maryland

A train carrying toxic chemicals, including the fluoridation chemical fluorosilicic acid, derailed in a tunnel in downtown Baltimore starting a fire and causing officials to close roads, cancel a Major League Baseball game, and ask city residents to remain indoors. 

2020 – Tracy City, Tennessee

A 52-year old water treatment vendor for Tracy City Public Utilities was killed in a fluoridation-related accident when employees accidentally added bleach to the fluoridation additive, hydrofluorosilicic acid, creating a deadly gas. The vendor was only exposed briefly. A plant employee was also seriously injured and required hospitalization.

2020 – Dubuque, Iowa

Fluoridation overfeed occurs at treatment plant causing fluoride levels of over 3.0ppm in drinking water. No explanation given. Officials failed to notify public of potential harm to infants and pregnant women.

2019 – Dunedin, New Zealand

Water treatment employees spilled sodium fluorosilicate, their fluoridation additive, requiring extensive cleanup by hazmat teams.

2019 – Newport, Rhode Island

A fluoridation chemical overfeed occurred, increasing fluoride levels in the public drinking water to at least 2.16mg/L; three times higher than the already excessive levels found in artificially fluoridated water.  City and Water Department officials waited over a month to notify residents.  

2019 – Tripp City, Ohio

330 gallons of fluoridation chemicals (fluorosilicic acid) fell off of a forklift while being transported. The fire chief said the area was “considered to be very dangerous” due to the fumes.

2019 – San Antonio, Texas

4,200 gallons of fluoridation chemical, fluorosilicic acid, spilled out of a tank at the water treatment plant during transfer from a tanker truck to a storage container.

2019 – Sandy, Utah

A snowstorm led to a fluoridation overfeed that resulted in high fluoride concentrations dissolving piping leading to elevated levels of manganese, aluminum, iron, arsenic, copper, & lead. Babies & pregnant women among the 239 victims sickened as reported in news which estimates 3k homes and several schools affected. Slow city response.

    • Lead 394 micrograms per liter. (15 mcg actionable)
    • Copper  present at 28,800 microgram per liter (1,300 mcg actionable)

2018 – Hanover County, North Carolina

Fluoridation injection equipment malfunctioned and staff didn’t respond properly, causing massive overfeed in to the public’s drinking water system.

2018 – Joint Base San Antonio, Texas

A fluoridation chemical overfeed occured for at least several months, causing the levels in the water near the local medical clinic and high school to reach levels of approximately 2.0ppm. 

2018 – Franklin, Pennsylvania

A fluoridation chemical overfeed occurred in Feb 2018. Fluoride levels increased to over 12mg/L; fourteen times higher than the usual level.  One report indicated that the levels may have risen to 25mg/L, but this has not been confirmed.  The elevated levels were still detected in some locations four days after the incident.  In April 2019, the city paid $25,000 in penalties for the violations surrounding the overfeed.

2017 – Orange County, North Carolina

A water treatment operator error and an equipment malfunction caused an overfeed of fluoridation chemicals into the drinking water for nearly 4 hours, causing levels to increase to 6mg/L, and contributing to a water shortage for several major municipalities in the region.

2017 – Ontario, Canada

A truck carrying fluoridation chemicals failed to follow hazardous waste transport guidelines and travelled during a blizzard.  It crashed on the highway, causing a multi-vehicle accident, spilling 15 barrels of fluoridation chemicals (8,000 liters) on the driver and surrounding terrain, killing the driver and sending first responders to the hospital with exposure health effects.  It also harmed the ecosystem along the roadside.

2016 – Mohawk Valley, New York

4,000 gallons of fluoridation chemical leaked out of its storage tank into a holding tank causing thousands of dollars in damage, endangering water employees and first responders.

2016 – Patton Borough, Pennsylvania

According to Borough water engineer David Cunningham, of Keller Engineers, “because Patton has older water lines, the added fluorosilicic acid seemed to be loosening sediment and causing corrosion. ‘The fear is that you’re going to raise lead and copper levels,’ he said.  The notice added that the fluoride also seemed to be increasing the water’s iron content.”

2016 – Parsons City, Kansas

Fluoridation chemical caused equipment failure and $50,000 worth of damage to water treatment infrastructure due to corrosiveness.

2016 – Attica, Indiana

Fluoridation was discontinued after the Water Superintendent found the fluoride chemical completely ate through a large concrete and steel “T” pipe at the injection point, causing a pipe break in the water distribution system.  

2015 – Marysville, Michiga

1,400 gallons of fluoridation chemical leaked from its storage tank and ate through the secondary containment tank, destroying the treatment plant’s concrete floor, pipes, and costing $150,000 in repairs and upgrades.  

2014 – Danville, Virginia

Eleven people, including first responders, were hospitalized after water treatment employees accidentally mixed fluoridation chemicals with hydrochloric acid, causing a toxic vapor.  Nearby residents and businesses were evacuated.

2014 – Dungog, Australia

Fluoridation chemical leaked into the ecosystem surrounding water treatment plant for 5 months, costing community $187,000 in fines and $3.6 million in upgrades to facilities.

2013 – Baltimore, Maryland

A train carrying fluorosilicic acid exploded after collided with a truck at a railroad crossing.

2012 – North Salt Lake City, Utah

Water treatment employee hospitalized after accidentally mixing fluoridation chemical with another treatment chemical, causing a chemical reaction that created toxic fumes.

2012 – West Hartford, Connecticut

A mechanical failure caused 10 gallons of fluoridation chemicals to spill at the water treatment plant.

2012 – Kalamazoo, Michigan

An overfeed of fluoridation chemicals to the drinking water occurred and residents were not notified for 6 months.  Representatives of the water facility say a fluoridation overfeed also occurred in 2006.

2012 – Martinsville, Virginia

Thousands of fish were killed and a $16,000 fine levied after fluoridation chemicals spilled into Jones Creek after an overflow at the plant caused the additive to drain into a sewage discharge pipe directly into the creek.

2011 – Rock Island, Illinois

Fluoridation chemicals spilled from an overflow while a tanker truck delivered them to a water treatment plant.  The spill ate through tar and concrete outside of the plant.

2011 – Mount Airy, North Carolina

A valve malfunction caused an overfeed of fluoridation chemicals into the drinking water for residents and three schools.

2010 – Asheboro, North Carolina

Mechanical error at water treatment plant caused overfeed of fluoridation chemicals into the drinking water system of over 220 households.  60 gallons of the chemical was released at once, rather than over a 24-hour period as expected.

2009 – Brisbane, Australia

Equipment malfunction at water treatment plant caused massive overfeed of fluoridation chemicals, increasing the levels to 30ppm.  4000 households were impacted as the chemical seeped into the water supply for at least 4 hours.

2009 – Chesterfield, Missouri

200 gallons of fluoridation chemicals spilled from a ruptured containment tank in the water treatment plant, sending a truck driver and water employees to the hospital.

2009 – Conway, Arkansas

Fluoridation was stopped after a 42-inch water pipe corroded to the point of failure in October, necessitating the shutdown of a portion of Conway Corp.’s water treatment plant that was just built 3 years prior. The pipe corroded because the fluoride injection port was mounted too close to a chlorine injection port, resulting in a highly acidic concentration of the two chemicals. Conway Corp.’s customers were never informed by the city-owned utility service of the change to their drinking water. Arnold apologized on behalf of the corporation in a letter to be distributed to customers this week.

2008 – New Orleans, Louisiana

The fluoridation additive, fluorosilicic acid, was so corrosive that it ate through it’s steel containment tank for an unknown period of time, releasing upwards of 50-gallons of the acid per minute. It was initially captured in a concrete containment unit around the storage container, but the acid was quickly eating through the concrete and was soon to cause a “catastrophic mix of toxic chemicals” if it ate through surrounding chemical storage containers, according to LA State Department of Environmental Quality officials. To keep this from occurring, employees pumped 468,740 gallons of the toxic acid into the Mississippi River.

2008 – Los Angeles, California

During the transfer of the fluoridation-additive (fluorosilicic acid) from a rail car to a bulk storage container, an employee failed to depressurize the system. The action led to uncontrolled acid discharge, where 2,700 gallons of FSA was geysered out of the rail car. A second employee tried to contain the spill without the required hazmat suit and self-contained breathing apparatus. The employee was exposed to vapors, resulting in hospitalization for four days.

2008 – Germania Springs, Alabama

A fluoride tank at the pumping station emptied its entire contents into the drinking water supply increasing fluoride levels to a reported 20 mg/L.  Several residents reported feeling ill.

2007 – Parleys Creek, Utah

2,000 gallons of fluoridation chemicals leaked from an overflowing containment tank at the Mountain Dell water treatment plant into Parley’s Creek, causing first responders to evacuate a nearby dog park.  Fire authority spokesperson said it likely killed fish and sickened deer that drank from the creek.

2005 – Fitchburg and Westminster, Massachusetts

750 gallons of fluoridation chemicals leaked from their containment tank sending three water treatment employees to the hospital after coming in direct contact with the chemical.  The leak occurred after a water employee tripped over a corroded pipe leading to the fluoridation tank.

2005 – York County, Pennsylvania

600 gallons of fluoridation chemicals overfed into the public’s drinking water, increasing levels to at least 24ppm for several large municipalities in York and Cumberland Counties.    

2005 – Melbourne, Australia

A ton of liquid fluoridation chemicals leaked from a containment tank at a water treatment plant into the nearby Cardinia Creek.

2003 – Marlboro, Massachusetts

A mechanical malfunction caused an accidental overfeed of fluoride went undetected for at least two hours into the drinking water, causing a fluoride level of 24 ppm, a significant change to the PH making it more acidic, and causing state environmental officials to warn residents to not use drinking water without flushing their system first.

2002 – Dublin, California

Malfunction with fluoridation equipment produces fluoride levels as high as 200 ppm at local business. 23 people are poisoned. The primary symptoms are stomach pain and vomiting.

2002 – Macomb County, Michigan

Homes had to be evacuated after 3,000 gallons of fluoridation chemicals spilled.

2001 – Fort Wayne, Indiana

A valve malfunction caused 6,000 gallons of corrosive fluoridation chemicals to spill out of it’s tank and into a sewer drain for two hours before first responders could stop it, sending four water employees to the hospital with headaches, chest pains, sore eyes, and respiratory problems from the fumes.

2001 – Port Avonmouth, United Kingdom

A ship transporting acid from Spain to Ireland, faulty patches on tank began to leak, within 72 hours acid ate through 8mm steel shell and sprang 2 leaks, also started to eat through hull of ship – port evacuated for 30 hours and declared ‘Port Emergency’ & ‘Major Incident’.

2001 – Camdenton, Missouri

A tanker truck carrying fluoridation chemicals spilled six barrels of it on the highway, closing the road until the hazardous waste could be contained and cleaned by first responders.

2000 – Charleston, South Carolina

Water treatment employee instructed truck driver to unload the fluoridation chemical into the wrong storage tank, causing a reaction that melted the tank, causing 20,000 gallons of the caustic mix to spill and eat through the containment berm into the nearby ecosystem and causing $200,000 dollars damage to the treatment plant.

2000 – Coos Bay, Oregon

Water treatment workers allowed a tank holding fluoridation chemicals to overflow, causing 400 gallons of the highly acidic additive to flow onto the floor and into a drain the led to the sewer and eventually the sewage treatment plant several blocks away.  Once in the sewage system, it caused 3.5 million gallons of partially treated sewage to spew into Coos Bay for four days. Making matters worse, the high concentrations of fluoride killed the bacteria-munching organisms in the sewage prior to it leaking into the bay, making it more toxic.

2000 – Norfolk and Wakefield, Massachusetts

Error with fluoridation equipment leads to fluoride levels as high as 23 ppm. Local health officials claim no one is affected, however news reports interview at least one resident with diarrhea and dizziness.


1994 -Deltona Florida  – Fluorosilicic acid leak on I4 motorway. A tanker truck spilled 4,500 gallons causing everyone within 1-mile radius to be evacuated (2,300 people), and hospitalizing 50 people. (SOURCE)

AUGUST 1993 – Poplarville, Mississippi: Fluoride levels at local restaurant reach 48 ppm, perhaps as high as 200 ppm, after accident with town fluoridation equipment. At least 34 of the restaurant’s patrons are poisoned. A study in Public Health Reports finds that “The most common symptoms were nausea (97%), vomiting (68%), diarrhea (65%), and abdominal cramps (53%); 14 people (41%) reported headaches, four (12%) reported burning sensations in the throat or chest, and one person reported excessive salivation. None recalled an abnormal taste to the water.” (SOURCE: Penman 1997)

JULY 1993 — Chicago, Illinois: 3 dialysis patients die and five additional patients suffer allergic reactions after a malfunction in the fluoride filtration systems allows an unspecified level of fluoride to enter into the dialysis units. (SOURCE: Carton 1994 | Chicago Sun Times 1993  | FDA Health Alert)

MAY 1992 — Hooper Bay, Alaska: One man dies, one man is airlifted to hospital in critical condition and 260 are poisoned. It is the largest reported fluoridation accident to date. Symptoms include “nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache, weakness, itching, numbness or tingling of an extremity, shortness of breath (and) fatigue.” (SOURCE: News Tribune 1992 | Gessner 1994)

FEBRUARY 1992 — Rice Lake, Wisconsin: Residents vomiting. Centers for Disease Control state that 150 water consumers potentially at risk. A pump feed thought to have lasted for two days leads to fluoride levels as high as 20 ppm. The Wisconsin State Dental Director states, “To be harmful, exposure would have to have been about 225 ppm.” This statement is incorrect, as serious adverse symptoms have been reported as low as 50 ppm, and death has occurred at 150 ppm. (SOURCE: Carton 1994)

JULY 1991 — Portage, Michigan: Approximately 40 children develop abdominal pains, sickness, vomiting and diarrhea at an arts and crafts show at school. One of the city’s fluoride injector pumps failed. Fluoride levels not determined at the time, but later test at 92 ppm. (SOURCE: Carton 1994 | See study discussing this accident)

OCTOBER 1990 — Westby, Wisconsin: Fluoride levels reach as high as 150 ppm after fluoridation malfunction. Four families suffer a week of diarrhea, upset stomach and burning throats. The water utility supervisor estimates the fluoride level to be ten times normal since it had burned his mouth. The elevated fluoride levels corrode the copper off the pipes in area homes, producing copper concentrations 70 times higher than the EPA recommended limit. (SOURCE: Carton 1994)

MARCH 1986 – New Haven, Connecticut – Of the 312 persons interviewed four days after the accident, in the 127 households at risk, 18% report symptoms of abdominal cramping, nausea, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, diaphoresis (profuse sweating), and fever. Others experience rashes and irritation from bathing and washing dishes. The fluoride levels peak at 51 ppm. (SOURCE: Carton 1994 | See study discussing this accident)

OCTOBER 1981 – Jonesboro, Maine – 57 students, teachers and principal are taken to hospital after an accident with school fluoridation equipment. 38 are administered regurgitants to make them vomit the fluoride, and milk to counteract the poison. Two are admitted to the hospital for several hours for fast heartbeat. Other symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain and vomiting. On December 1, 1981, Jonesboro citizens vote 43-2 not to reinstate fluoridation at the school, and to charge the Dept. of Human Services for the emergency room bill of $1,137.24. (SOURCE: Bevis 1981 | The Maine Paper 1981 )

AUGUST 1980 – Vermont – Accident with school water fluoridation equipment leads to fluoride levels as high as 1,041 ppm and causes an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness, headache, dizziness, and diarrhea at a farmers market. (SOURCE: Vogt 1982)

NOVEMBER 1979 – Annapolis, Maryland – Operator fails to close valve of fluoride container; causing 1,000 gallons of fluoride to be dumped into the water supply. 1 dialysis patient dies, 1 suffers a heart attack, 1 develops long-term brain damage, while others experience nausea, hypotension (low blood pressure), chest pain or pressure, diarrhea, itching, flushing, vomiting (blood tinged), weakness, dyspnea (breathing difficulty), profuse sweating, shakiness, localized numbness, abdominal cramping, and headache. Others not on dialysis experience nausea, headache, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness. Pepsi Cola files suit for $1.6 million for damage to product, while a surviving dialysis patient with resulting brain damage sues for $210 million. (SOURCE: Bevis 1981 | Evening Capital 1982)

MAY 1979 – Island Falls, Maine – Fluoride machine allows extra fluoride into water system while motor head is being changed. “The exact water fluoride level was not ascertained although a water sample at a manufacturing plant was greater than 10 ppm.” 5 people suffer gastrointestinal illness.” (SOURCE: Bevis 1981)

NOVEMBER 1978 – Los Lunas, New Mexico – Faulty electric relay switch causes concentrated fluoride to be pumped into water system. 34 people experience acute fluoride poisoning. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, muscle twitching and excess salivation. (SOURCE: Bevis 1981 | Hoffman 1980)

NOVEMBER 1977 – Harbor Springs, Michigan – A tree cut down by a contractor falls on power lines controlling the water department’s electrical signal lines… Approximately 189 lbs. of fluoride is accidentally pumped into the city’s water system.. Four people experience nausea or vomiting and weakness. Had it not been an off-season for this resort town more could have been poisoned. (SOURCE: Bevis 1981)