~ FLUORIDE LEAD AND PIPES ~
Fluoride is the most acidic and electron negative of all elements.
It aggressively seeks out lead and dissolves it, especially in acidic,
soft water. There is a custom of using pipes for electrical grounding.
Many older houses are still grounded through water pipes.
This accelerates lead corrosion and increases lead in drinking water.
Box 2276, Lynnwood, Washington 98036-2276
425-771-1110, Fax 425-776-8081
COMMENTS REGARDING LEAD AND WATER FLUORIDATION
Updated 17 April 2011
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CWF Comments, Division of Oral Health,
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
4770 Buford Highway, NE, MS F-10
Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
Also sent by fax to: 202-690-7203
Delivered by email to: CWFcomments@cdc.gov
To make it easier to follow links, read a web version of this letter at:
Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Also sent by email to: FluorideScience@epa.gov
Also sent by fax to: 202-501-1450
To make it easier to follow links, read a web version of this letter at:
Click on Comments Regarding Lead and Water Fluoridation.
. . . . .
Dear Ms. Sebelius and Ms. Jackson,
I am writing to give comments to HHS and EPA regarding their recent requests for comment on fluoridation.
Please see my Report Card for HHS and EPA letter, revised April 19, 2011, in which I conclude that the research done by HHS and EPA on fluoridation is inadequate and that neither presented sufficient evidence to come to the conclusion that fluoridation should be continued but at a reduced level, that is at .7 ppm. I also conclude that HHS and EPA have been ignoring evidence that would force the conclusion that no fluoridation at any level should continue.
One of the most important lines of evidence that has been ignored is that which connects silicofluorides with increased lead in water.
Both requests for comment look back to the 2006 NRC Report, which suggested many topics which EPA should study in connection with drinking water fluoridation. The long list of topics included the following: caries, fluorosis, and bone fractures, fertility, thyroid function, increased calcitonin activity, increased parathyroid hormone activity, secondary hyperparathyroidism, impaired glucose tolerance, and possible effects on timing of sexual maturity, endocrine effects and brain function, osteosarcoma. See 2006 NRC Report, “Research Needs”, pages 11-12. NRC also suggested on page 52-53 under “Fluorosilicates” that EPA do further research on the connection between silicofluorides and lead uptake:
Most fluoride in drinking water is added in the form of fluosilicic acid (fluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6) or the sodium salt (sodium fluosilicate, Na2SiF6), collectively referred to as fluorosilicates (CDC 1993). Of approximately 10,000 fluoridated water systems included in the CDC’s 1992 fluoridation census, 75% of them (accounting for 90% of the people served) used fluorosilicates. This widespread use of silicofluorides has raised concerns on at least two levels. First, some authors have reported an association between the use of silicofluorides in community water and elevated blood concentrations of lead in children (Masters and Coplan 1999; Masters et al. 2000); this association is attributed to increased uptake of lead (from whatever source) due to incompletely dissociated silicofluorides remaining in the drinking water (Masters and Coplan 1999; Masters et al. 2000) or to increased leaching of lead into drinking water in systems that use chloramines (instead of chlorine as a disinfectant) and silicofluorides (Allegood 2005; Clabby 2005; Maas et al. 2005).12,13
Use of more sophisticated analytical techniques such as nuclear magnetic resonance has failed to detect any silicon- and fluorine-containing species other than hexafluorosilicate ion (SiF62-) (Urbansky 2002; Morris 2004). In drinking water at approximately neutral pH and typical fluoride concentrations, all the silicofluoride appears to be dissociated entirely to silicic acid [Si(OH)4], fluoride ion, and HF (Urbansky 2002; Morris 2004); any intermediate species either exist at extremely low concentrations or are highly transient. SiF62- would be present only under conditions of low pH (pH < 5; Urbansky 2002; Morris 2004) and high fluoride concentration (above 16 mg/L according to Urbansky ; at least 1 g/L to reach detectable levels of SiF62-, according to Morris ). Urbansky (2002) also stated that the silica contribution from the fluoridating agent is usually trivial compared with native silica in the water; therefore, addition of any fluoridating agent (or the presence of natural fluoride) could result in the presence of SiF62- in any water if other conditions (low pH and high total fluoride concentration) are met. Both Urbansky (2002) and Morris (2004) indicate that other substances in the water, especially metal cations, might form complexes with fluoride, which, depending on pH and other factors, could influence the amount of fluoride actually present as free fluoride ion. For example, P.J. Jackson et al. (2002) have calculated that at pH 7, in the presence of aluminum, 97.46% of a total fluoride concentration of 1 mg/L is present as fluoride ion, but at pH 6, only 21.35% of the total fluoride is present as fluoride ion, the rest being present in various aluminum fluoride species (primarily AlF2+ and AlF3). Calculations were not reported for pH <6.
Further research should include analysis of the concentrations of fluoride and various fluoride species or complexes present in tap water, using a range of water samples (e.g., of different hardness and mineral content). In addition, given the expected presence of fluoride ion (from any fluoridation source) and silica (native to the water) in any fluoridated tap water, it would be useful to examine what happens when that tap water is used to make acidic beverages or products (commercially or in homes), especially fruit juice from concentrate, tea, and soft drinks. Although neither Urbansky (2002) nor Morris (2004) discusses such beverages, both indicate that at pH < 5, SiF62- would be present, so it seems reasonable to expect that some SiF62- would be present in acidic beverages but not in the tap water used to prepare the beverages. Consumption rates of these beverages are high for many people, and therefore the possibility of biological effects of SiF62-, as opposed to free fluoride ion, should be examined.
HHS and EPA avoided the silicofluoride and lead issue. They chose to do research only on caries, fluorosis, and brittle bones.
NRC suggested that further research be done on the silicofluoride-lead issue, however, neither HHS nor EPA did such further research. They only addressed caries, fluorosis, and bone fractures. Nevertheless, HHS and EPA had the audacity to recommend that fluoridation be continued, although at a lower level. HHS and EPA should immediately retract any recommendation that fluoridation be continued.
The EPA classifies lead as a “probable human carcinogen” and adds:
Health effects associated with exposure to inorganic lead and compounds include, but are not limited to, neurotoxicity, developmental delays, hypertension, impaired hearing acuity, impaired hemoglobin synthesis, and male reproductive impairment. Importantly, many of lead’s health effects may occur without overt signs of toxicity. Lead has particularly significant effects in children, well before the usual term of chronic exposure can take place. Children under 6 years old have a high risk of exposure because of their more frequent hand-to-mouth behavior.
Federal law mandates that water districts give lead notices. A water district, as owner or operator of a public water system … shall identify and provide notice to persons that may be affected by lead contamination of their drinking water where such contamination results from … lead content in the construction materials of the public water distribution system [or] corrosivity of the water supply sufficient to cause leaching of lead. … Notice under this paragraph shall be provided notwithstanding the absence of a violation of any national drinking water standard. [emphasis added]
State boards of health have the responsibility under federal law to make rules pertaining to protecting state citizens, particularly children from lead.
When the Washington Board of Health, for example, works on the lead issue, it focuses on avoiding lead in old paint. The Board of Health in its literature also mentions lead in brass plumbing fixtures, solder, and batteries, but goes nowhere with this aspect of lead avoidance. The “Lead Warning” card distributed by the Washington Department of Health focuses almost entirely on lead in paint. The section of “A Healthy Home” brochure  published by the Department of Health and which deals with lead focuses entirely on lead paint. Washington is typical of other states when it comes to lead disclosure requirements. Likewise, EPA efforts to reduce exposure to lead focus on lead in paint.
On both the state and federal levels the lead that enters our bodies through drinking water is ignored.
SDWA § 300j–24, entitled Lead contamination in school drinking water requires as follows:
Within 9 months after October 31, 1988, each State shall establish a program, consistent with this section, to assist local educational agencies in testing for, and remedying, lead contamination in drinking water from coolers and from other sources of lead contamination at schools under the jurisdiction of such agencies.
This is another law which the EPA enforces only half-heartedly.
The health issue is this: There is sometimes a small amount of lead in raw drinking water. Fluorosilicates are being added to drinking water which contain lead at .6 ppb. Fluorosilicates added to drinking water dissolve lead in pipes and bind with lead and facilitate its uptake and retention by the human body. Like other states, Washington is failing to notify citizens of these lead issues.
Lead has long been added to almost all brass water pipes and pipe fittings and to the solder used to solder brass and copper pipe. Lead has long been added to brass to serve as a flux. A flux makes metals in general melt at lower temperatures.
The Wikipedia article on Tap Water contains this discussion under Lead Leaching:
Generally, copper tubes are soldered directly into copper or brass fittings, although compression, crimp, or flare fittings are also used. Formerly, concerns with copper supply tubes included the lead used in the solder at joints (50% tin and 50% lead). Some studies have shown significant “leaching” of the lead into the potable water stream, particularly after long periods of low usage, followed by peak demand periods. In hard water applications, shortly after installation, the interior of the pipes will be coated with the deposited minerals that had been dissolved in the water, and therefore the vast majority of exposed lead is prevented from entering the potable water. Building codes now require lead-free solder. Building Codes throughout the U.S. require the use of virtually “lead-free” (<.2% lead) solder or filler metals in plumbing fittings and appliances as well.
In 1977 we made lead based paint illegal. In 1986 we made lead based inks illegal. Between 1976 and 1986 we phased out tetraethyl lead. California has banned lead bullets in areas where condors forage.
Newer water mains are lead free. However, many older mains are iron and are generally soldered together with lead solder. Iron water mains are common in many cities.
Even if there is no lead in water mains, things change when water gets to homes and businesses, where water encounters brass plumbing and fittings which contain lead, and copper pipe which is soldered with lead solder. Until recently, it was standard procedure to solder copper pipes together with solder containing lead.
In 1986 as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA required that all pipes and fittings that carry water be “lead free”. The term “lead free” allowed water pipes and fittings to contain up to 8.0% lead and allowed solder for use in plumbing to contain up to 0.2% lead, a standard which Washington follows. Before 1986 water pipes were sometimes up to 30% lead. This means that we should carefully check lead levels in water in old buildings, including old schools.
In 2010 California limited lead content in brass pipes and fittings to a maximum of 0.25%, and in solder to 0.2%. It is unfortunate that the EPA did not do the same back in 1986.
Many thousands have been harmed since 1986. We would hope that the EPA would follow California’s lead and do the same. Note, however, that limiting lead in new construction will not remove the already existing lead in plumbing tens of thousands of homes, schools, and businesses. Something should be done to reduce the amount of lead consumed by children through their drinking water. The way to do that is to halt fluoridation using silicofluorides.
In 2004 the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that lead was showing up in water fountains in old Seattle schools, at levels up to 1,600 ppb, far above the EPA legally enforceable maximum contaminant level (MCL) in effect at that time, which was 20 ppb. The MCL was recently reduced to 15 ppb. More important is the recommended maximum contaminant level goal (MCLG) for lead, which is zero. Lead is a probable human carcinogen, so we should not do anything that adds lead to our water, causes lead to leach out of plumbing, or increases lead uptake or retention by the body.
Lead in pipes will often stay put relatively well and not dissolve into drinking water, particularly if the water is hard and contains a lot of calcium carbonate, which binds with lead and coats the inside of pipes and thus separates the lead from the water. Ancient Romans declined in part because lead levels in their bodies were high. Most presume that this was because their water pipes were lead. No, Roman water was very hard. It was not their pipes that poisoned the Romans; it was the lead acetate they used in copious amounts as a sweetener.
A problem arises when silicofluorides (SiFs) are added to water. SiFs dissolve lead and bind to lead in such a way that lead which might otherwise pass through the body is absorbed.
This problem is more serious in cities which have soft water, that is water which is low in dissolved calcium and other minerals. Even the CDC admits that soft water is more prone to be acidic and leach more lead because there is so little dissolved minerals in soft water to bind with the fluoride and reduce acidity. Thus, fluoride is freer to bind with lead in soft water. Seattle’s snow melt water is considered very soft.
Fluoride is the most acidic and electron negative of all elements. Fluoride aggressively seeks out lead and dissolves it, especially in acidic, soft water.
There is a custom of using pipes for electrical grounding. Many older houses are still grounded through water pipes. This accelerates lead corrosion and increases lead in drinking water.
Further, silicofluorides attack PVC pipe, causing the release of ammonia, which combines with chlorine to form chloramine, which is more aggressive than chlorine in dissolving lead in brass pipes, fittings, and solder. Seattle, for example, uses chlorine instead of chloramine, and we hope it will not follow the current trend of switching from chlorine to chloramine as a disinfectant.
Take a look at what the scholars have to say about the subject. In 2000 Masters, Coplan, and others published an article in NeuroToxicology, a peer reviewed journal. This article was expanded on in a 2001 article and summarized in Dartmouth News. The authors of the Dartmouth News article conclude that there is evidence that public drinking water treated with sodium silicofluoride or fluosilicic acid, known as silicofluorides (SiFs), is linked to higher uptake of lead in children.
Sodium fluoride, first added to public drinking water in 1945, is now used in less than 10% of fluoridation systems nationwide…. Instead, [silicofluorides] are now used to treat drinking water delivered to 140 million people [including Seattle, Everett, and most Washington water systems]. While sodium fluoride was tested on animals and approved for human consumption, the same cannot be said for [silicofluorides].
Masters and … Coplan … studied the blood lead levels in over 400,000 children in three different samples. In each case, they found a significant link between [silicofluoride]-treated water and elevated blood lead levels. [Masters said:] ‘We should stop using silicofluorides in our public water supply until we know what they do.’ … The researchers found that the greatest likelihood of children having elevated blood lead levels occurs when they are exposed both to known risk factors, such as old house paint and lead in soil or water, and to [silicofluoride]-treated drinking water. [Masters said:] ‘[O]ur preliminary findings show correlations between SiF use and more behavior problems due to known effects of lead on brain chemistry.’ Also requiring further examination is German research that shows [silicofluorides] inhibit cholinesterase, an enzyme that plays an important role in regulating neurotransmitters. [Masters said:] ‘If [silicofluorides] are cholinesterase inhibitors, this means that [silicofluorides] have effects like the chemical agents linked to Gulf War Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and other puzzling conditions that plague millions of Americans….’ [Masters said:] ‘[T]his may well be the worst environmental poison since leaded gasoline.’
Masters added more detail in a letter he wrote June 17, 2001.
In 2007 Masters, Coplan, and others published another article in NeuroToxicology, in which they concluded:
Silicofluorides … are used to fluoridate over 90% of US fluoridated municipal water supplies [including Seattle’s]. Living in communities with silicofluoride treated water… is associated with two neurotoxic effects:
(1) Prevalence of children with elevated blood lead … is about double that in non-fluoridated communities …. [silicofluoride treated water] is associated with serious corrosion of lead-bearing brass plumbing, producing elevated water lead … at the faucet. New data refute the long-prevailing belief that [lead in water] contributes little to children’s blood lead…. [I]t it is likely to contribute 50% or more.
(2) [Silicofluoride treated water] has been shown to interfere with cholinergic function. … [Silicofluoride treated water] is a more powerful inhibitor of acetylcholinesterase than [water fluoridated with sodium fluoride, which was used when fluoridation first began in the 1950s].
Authors of another study published in Neurotoxicology reported:
This study concerns effects on water-borne lead from combinations of chlorine (CL) or chloramines (CA) with fluosilicic acid (FSA) or sodium fluoride (NaF). … Water samples were taken for lead analysis three times per week after a 16-h stagnation period. … [W]hen FSA was also included, lead concentrations spiked to over 900 ppb. Lead concentrations from the CL-based waters appeared to be decreasing over the study period, while for the CA+NH3+FSA combination, lead concentrations seemed to be increasing with time.
A simplified explanation of the mechanism by which silicofluorides dissolve lead and do so more readily than sodium fluoride is as follows: Sodium fluoride, NaF, is a salt and forms a weak base in water. Silicofluorides, SiF, for example, hydrofluorosilicic acid, are strong acids.
When NaF ionizes in water, little HF is produced. But when SiF ionizes, HF is produced along with H+ and (SiF4)2. SiF does not dissociate completely, and other complex ions are present. Remember that the silicofluoride scrubber liquor is composed of dozens of different elements and compounds.
NaF ionizes completely, whereas SiFs do not, particularly when pH drops. pH can drop where there is an NaOH underfeed, when NaOH reaches pipes in homes, schools, and apartment buildings and is tied up with metals such as aluminum, which is commonly added to drinking water. pH also drops when fluoridated water mixes with stomach acids.
HF is a small molecule which will burrow into and easily dissolve lead and other metals in pipes.
When SiF is used to fluoridate tap water, sodium hydroxide, NaOH, a strong base, aka Draino® must added to counteract the H+ and turn it into water and thus neutralize the pH. Without sodium hydroxide added, fluoride will quickly dissolve water system equipment.
When a municipality fluoridates with tanker loads of silicofluorides, it must bring in tanker loads of sodium hydroxide to neutralize the low pH of the fluoride. This is especially true in cities with soft, more acidic water – such as Seattle. Sodium hydroxide however, can become tied up with metals from pipe or with aluminum, which is added to precipitate dirt. NaOH is no longer available to increase the pH of fluoridated water. In more acidic water HF dissolves lead and other metals.
Another way that lead can be dissolved is if there is an over-feed of SiF or an underfeed of NaOH.
Workmen who handle these chemicals must wear hazardous materials suits for self-protection.
Silicofluorides not only produce HF which dissolves lead. Silicofluorides contain lead. NSF, the National Sanitation Foundation, puts out its analysis of silicofluorides, and admits that the liquid flurosilicic acid, after diluted from pure phosphate scrubber liquor down to 1 ppm silicofluoride in water, contains sometimes as much as .6 ppb lead. Lead is so nasty that we should not knowingly be adding any amount of lead. The MCLG, miximum contaminant level goal for lead is zero. Bear in mind that flurosilicic acid is a mixture of hundreds of elements and lead is just one of them.
Silicofluorides come from super-phosphate fertilizer plants in Florida, Louisiana, and increasingly from China. To make super-phosphate fertilizer, processors cook rock phosphate with sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid contains lead because the sulfuric acid is produced in gigantic lead pots, and part of the lead remains in the sulfuric acid, as NSF International admits.
In making your analysis, remember that lead is a probable human carcinogen and a neurotoxin and that the MCLG, maximum contaminant level goal for lead is zero. That means none at all should be added to drinking water.
I paraphrase from an email sent to me by Dr. Roger D. Masters, who has done much work on silicofluorides along with Myron Coplan:
The fundamental problem with silicofluoride water treatment is that these compounds do NOT “dissociate” completely into component elements, as was assumed when the use of silicofluorides in place of sodium fluoride began around 1950. Hydrofluosilicic acid, H2SiF6, does not dissociate neatly into H+ Si + F. Westendorf (4th ed.) showed that a “residual species” of chemical remains which is biologically active. The residual is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, a fact which has mostly been ignored or unnoticed by mainstream fluoride scientists.
There are two effects of silicofluorides on brain chemistry. First, the action of acetylcholinesterase, the enzyme that breaks down acetylcholine, is blocked. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter which stimulates cellular activity. With acetylcholinesterase unable to do its work, activity once stimulated is hard deactivate, as in the case of ADHD. Second, silicofluoride residue has effects on the neurotransmitter dopamine (which is a central regulator of impulsiveness). Where silicofluorides are used, the combination of more activation and weaker inhibition results in statistically significant increases in behaviors where impulse control is essential: learning deficits, more substance abuse, and more violent crime.
We have solid findings, in peer reviewed journals, that show lower scores on nine standardized tests in Massachusetts towns where drinking water is fluoridated with silicofluorides. Findings show higher rates of violent crime. The latter has been assessed using multivariate statistical analyses of up to twelve risk factors to predict county level violent crime rates for all 3141 US counties and then replicated for violent crime. These effects are related to the neurotoxicity of silicofluoride residues as well as lead. That is, where silicofluorides are used, the neurotransmitter dopamine does not function normally. The resulting behavioral problems cost American taxpayers billions of dollars. The National Toxicology Program nominated silicofluorides for testing in 2003 on the ground their toxicology wasn’t known, and a decade of published data on harmful effects has never been contradicted. The EPA should immediately ban use of silicofluorides until such time as their safety has been demonstrated convincingly and contrary data explained.
A mother’s placental barrier does not prevent the passage of lead or fluoride to her fetus. Babies are being born in Seattle with reduced IQ as a direct result our “just a little lead in our drinking water” policy.
We quote from Fluoride and Lead by Frances Frech:
Let us tell you a tale of two cities–Tacoma, Washington, and Thurmont, Maryland. Both of them saw significant decline in [blood] lead levels only six months after fluoridation was stopped. (In Tacoma, that was due to equipment problems, in Thurmont, it was a temporary ban by the city council.) Tacoma registered a drop of nearly 50% …; in Thurmont it was 78%. To the best of our knowledge, no other explanations were offered. In Thurmont the ban is now permanent.”
Unfortunately, Tacoma returned to fluoridating its drinking water and a battle continues over whether to reverse this policy.
Super-phosphate fertilizer is used to grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and other industrial food crops. As sulfuric acid is mixed with rock phosphate, clouds of fluoride-rich vapor go up the stacks. Before EPA intervention in the 1970s, the toxic smoke poisoned plants, animals, and people for miles around.
The EPA required fertilizer plants to begin using wet scrubbers to filter out the fluoride along with the lead, arsenic, and many other contaminants. The silicofluorides are the unfiltered and unprocessed scrubber liquor from the fertilizer production process. Silicofluoride scrubber liquor goes directly into tanker trucks and is delivered to Seattle, Everett, and other cities in tanker trucks to the headwaters of our rivers where it is poured into our drinking water.
The greatest irony of all this is that the toxic smoke that was illegal as air pollution came to be regarded as legal as a medical additive to drinking water.
Washington water systems are not only adding chemicals which leach lead from pipes and not only facilitate lead uptake but which also contain lead.
The EPA grants primacy on a state-by-state basis to each state which qualifies to carry out the role of implementing the SDWA, and Washington has been awarded primacy. See 40 CFR 42.10. In each state there is a lead agency which is empowered to administer the SDWA, and in Washington that agency is the Department of Health. RCW 70.119A.080, RCW 43.21A.445. In RCW 43.21A.445 several Washington agencies led by the Department of Health are “… authorized to participate fully in and are empowered to administer …” the SDWA.
Because the SDWA requires that state “… drinking water regulations” be “no less stringent than the national primary drinking water regulations,” Washington regulations likewise must be so limited. Therefore, the Department of Health must see to it that water districts disseminate notice regarding lead which the Safe Drinking Water Act requires water districts to give.
This is what the SDWA says regarding lead notice:
Public notice requirements
(A) In general
Each owner or operator of a public water system shall identify and provide notice to persons that may be affected by lead contamination of their drinking water where such contamination results from either or both of the following:
(i) The lead content in the construction materials of the public water distribution system.
(ii) Corrosivity of the water supply sufficient to cause leaching of lead.
The notice shall be provided in such manner and form as may be reasonably required by the Administrator. Notice under this paragraph shall be provided notwithstanding the absence of a violation of any national drinking water standard.
(B) Contents of notice
Notice under this paragraph shall provide a clear and readily understandable explanation of—
(i) the potential sources of lead in the drinking water,
(ii) potential adverse health effects,
(iii) reasonably available methods of mitigating known or potential lead content in drinking water,
(iv) any steps the system is taking to mitigate lead content in drinking water, and
(v) the necessity for seeking alternative water supplies, if any.
The law is very clear on this point: Water systems must give an honest notice to water drinkers regarding lead, and the Department of Health as the lead agency in enforcement of the SDWA as set forth in RCW 70.119A.080 must pass and enforce a regulation requiring that water districts give such notice.
EPA is failing to enforce this part of the SDWA. EPA should insist that municipalities send out truthful lead notices.
Silicofluorides contain more lead than sodium fluoride. Silicofluorides have a lower pH than sodium fluoride (which is close to neutral in pH) and therefore cause more lead to be leached from brass pipe and fittings and from the lead solder used to solder copper pipe and cast iron water mains. For all these reasons silicofluorides should be disallowed as fluoridation materials.
If the EPA is going to allow the continued use of silicofluorides, it should require that municipalities give notices which include the following warnings:
Those who drink tap water and eat food made with tap water should be aware of the following: Tap water in this water district is fluoridated with silicofluorides. Silicofluorides contain lead. Silicofluorides leach lead from brass pipe, from brass fittings, from the lead based solder used to solder together brass and copper pipe. Silicofluorides leach lead from the lead solder used to solder cast iron water main pipes. The lead content of your drinking water may vary from zero to .6 ppb. The federal MCL, maximum contaminant level, is 15 ppb. The federal MCLG, maximum contaminant level goal, is zero, meaning that any and all amounts of fluoride intake should be avoided where ever possible. Buildings built before 1986 generally utilize brass pipes containing up to 30.0% lead, and lead levels in such buildings, has been known to be as high as 1,600 ppb, especially when water sits in lines for long periods of time. Brass pipes in buildings built after 1986 generally use brass containing up to 8.0% lead [except in California where limits are lower].
Those who wish to avoid consuming lead and who wish to avoid having their children consume lead should not drink tap water or use it to cook food and instead should use a source of water known not to contain lead such as spring water, distilled water, or water filtered with a reverse osmosis filter. Lead is known to cause brain damage.
A much better solution would be for the EPA to use its powers to ban the use of silicofluorides as fluoridation materials, a power which the EPA has, given the harm that silicofluorides are causing, particularly in connection with lead poisoning, under SDFA § 300 g-1 (b)(1)(d):
Urgent threats to public health.— The Administrator may promulgate an interim national primary drinking water regulation for a contaminant without making a determination for the contaminant under paragraph (4)(C), or completing the analysis under paragraph (3)(C), to address an urgent threat to public health as determined by the Administrator after consultation with and written response to any comments provided by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the director of the National Institutes of Health. A determination for any contaminant in accordance with paragraph (4)(C) subject to an interim regulation under this subparagraph shall be issued, and a completed analysis meeting the requirements of paragraph (3)(C) shall be published, not later than 3 years after the date on which the regulation is promulgated and the regulation shall be repromulgated, or revised if appropriate, not later than 5 years after that date.
CONCLUSION: BAD FAITH
HHS and EPA have acted in bad faith by failing to study all the research areas listed in 2006 NRC Report, including the connection between silicofluorides and lead poisoning.
HHS and EPA have acted in bad faith by coming out with a specific proposal to declare that .7 ppm is safe without having studied all the issues NRC identified, including issues pertaining to the connection between silicofluorides and lead poisoning.
HHS and EPA have acted in bad faith by implying that they have done sufficient research to be confident that all may drink all the tap water they want at .7 ppm and not suffer any harm, particularly in light of the increase in lead uptake resulting from silicofluorides..
HHS and the EPA should retract their endorsement of water fluoridation.
The EPA It should retract its support of the NSF, including its financial support and its “imprimatur” on NSF publications. The EPA should instruct the NSF to cease making any statements which would imply that the EPA agrees with NSF’s certification of silicofluorides as acceptable fluoridation materials.
The EPA should immediately commission the NRC to write a complete report dealing with the link between silicofluorides and lead in drinking water and instruct the NRC to determine whether it is safe to utilize silicofluorides as fluoridation materials and, if silicofluorides do qualify for use as fluoridation materials, what concentration is appropriate. The first draft of the report should be due in six months and the final within one year.
HHS and EPA should commit themselves to airing both sides of the fluoridation debate, particularly as it applies to the link between silicofluorides and lead poisoning, and to posting the debate on their web sites. They should correct all the many errors on their websites, including those relating to the link between silicofluorides and lead.
The EPA should exercise its authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to order an immediate ban on artificial water fluoridation throughout the United States. This ban should remain in place until a new report has been received from the NRC.
See also our post on: