Today, Mayor Dave Bronson’s office released the following statement regarding the fluoridation of Anchorage’s water supply, explaining that the fluoride was briefly reduced from the water supply because staff complained that their eyes and throats were burning from the fumes.
The statement is in response to an attack by various left-wing bloggers and the Anchorage Daily News’ own podcaster, who accused, without evidence, the mayor of sabotaging the water supply.
On October 1st Mayor Bronson and members of his Administration visited the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU) Eklutna Water Treatment Plant for a site visit. During the visit, a discussion ensued about health problems occurring among water treatment plant staff charged with fluoridation of Anchorage’s water supply. AWWU staff informed the Mayor’s team that fluoride burned the eyes and throats of staff who handled it and was a health hazard for employees. Fluoride is considered a hazardous substance that must be handled by trained professionals.
Information was presented to the Mayor’s team that pausing the fluoridation of Anchorage’s water would not violate federal or state law and didn’t violate Municipal Charter. To protect the health and safety of AWWU staff, it was decided by the Mayor to halt the fluoridation of Anchorage’s water supply and to further investigate these concerns with the Assembly.
Later that afternoon, the Mayor’s Office determined Municipal Code requires the fluoridation of Anchorage’s water supply. The Mayor’s Office immediately informed AWWU leadership to resume fluoridation of the Muni’s water. Fluoride was not added to the water supply for approximately five hours.
AWWU General Manager Mark Corsentino confirmed “the data shows there was no disruption or material change to the fluoride in our water during October 1.” Fluoride levels did not violate Municipal code or Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation regulations. AWWU routinely shuts down the fluoride system for maintenance for much longer intervals than what occurred on October 1. In November, AWWU shutdown the fluoride system for several days to conduct maintenance on the system. Anchorage’s water supply remains safe for public consumption.
The mayor’s office attached documents to support his statement. Must Read Alaska has learned through research that it’s quite common for fluoride to not be added to the city’s water supply when maintenance is being performed or, as in recent times, when a part is not available.