WASHINGTON, March 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — In response to a fluoride overfeed in Sandy City, Utah, where drinking water fluoride reached levels that caused nausea, vomiting and other fluoride poisoning symptoms in residents, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has sent a letter to the mayor and other public officials asking for a detailed health investigation. The fluoride incident on February 5-7 reportedly caused levels at homes to reach over 100 mg/L, a level close to what caused a fatality and serious illnesses in a previous overfeed accident in Alaska. A level of 100 mg/L is 25 times greater than the EPA standard and 150 times greater than the normal level for water fluoridation.
FAN points out that government officials downplayed possible health effects. Officials said fluoride does not accumulate in the body and therefore should cause no long-term effects. This is incorrect, as 50% of ingested fluoride is retained and can raise the body-burden for years. The health investigation that followed the Alaska fluoride poisoning incident found elevated fluoride and abnormal clinical blood measures weeks after the exposures had ceased.
The fluoridating chemical released in Sandy, hydrofluorosilicic acid, apparently caused the corrosiveness of the water to increase dramatically, causing leaching of unsafe levels of lead, copper, and other heavy metals from plumbing. A public health official claimed neurotoxic harm from lead only occurs as the last stage of poisoning. Actually, in children, neurotoxicity occurs at levels below where symptoms of lead poisoning appear.
FAN requests that a thorough health investigation be conducted, similar to that for the Alaska incident, with added attention to lead and other heavy metals.
Paul Connett, PhD, director of FAN, said, “Contrary to claims by some officials, this accident is not such a rare event. Dozens of other fluoride accidents have been reported. Unfortunately, most officials do not find out how toxic fluoride is until accidents like this occur.”
“The only positive outcome from such incidents is the spotlight they shine on health risks from water fluoridation. Growing scientific evidence now shows that pregnant women consuming fluoridated water at the normal level of 0.7 mg/L may be lowering the IQ of their children. Alternatives to fluoridation, such as now used in Scotland, can reduce cavities just as much without imposing the risks of dosing everyone’s water with fluoride and risking accidents like this.”