What’s in our tap water?

By Celia Kiewit

Did you receive your New Year’s gift from the water district?   In January we will be getting fluoride in our tap water!   Great, it protects the children’s teeth from cavities.  Or does it?  I had one week’s worth of fluoride treatments when I was a kid and I have no cavities.  Why then are so many people in San Diego spitting mad about this?

San Diego city water is fluoridated despite the will of the people who, according to Municipal Code 67, banned any addition of fluoride to the water supply.  Check with your district and ask some questions.  Why is this happening?  Where is it coming from, and what is the actual chemical content?  Some people are objecting strongly, yet their politicians don’t seem to want to talk about it.  Some City Council members actually approve.

No vote was allowed.

Is this ever a good idea for protecting the teeth of young children? Maybe, but not on a long-term cumulative basis.  Fluoride, in the form delivered by the European “chemical distribution” company, Brenntag, is right up there with lead and mercury.  From our local water district’s website:  “Fluoride… discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.”  Not exactly a pharmaceutical grade.   Chemical distribution?  Sounds like a euphemism to me.  More research needs to be done on these guys.  And yes, over-fertilization and pesticides add to the problem of polluted water and run-off.  What’s in the purple pipe?  How about “Toilet to Tap?”  Now there’s a great marketing slogan!  See the USA Today article dated 3/2011, “How we get tap water from sewage.”  Is the solution to pollution dilution?

Who cares what’s in the tap water when no one drinks it anyway?  Something like 80 million plastic bottles of water are consumed every day in the U.S. alone.   Designer water can cost 3 times that of a gallon of gasoline.

Plastic leaches into the contents and eventually infects the food supply.   Don’t get me started on my PET peeve.
The massive business of water delivery, sourcing, filtering, and charging us when sometimes we don’t really know what’s in it, where it comes from, nor can we really object is brilliant marketing and we are the captive consumers.   Be sure to see the film “Tapped,” which features Algalita’s Charlie Moore, an excellent documentary exposing the truth about water—stream, tap, and bottled.  Is it stolen and sold back to us?  “Whiskey is for drinking, and water is for fighting over,” said Mark Twain.  Yep, water wars are on the horizon as H2O is being dubbed the “new oil.”

This precious life-sustaining resource is too often taken for granted.  Some think it should cost more to reflect its true value.  On a half-acre organic garden and orchard, I use very little water thanks to a drip system and homemade cisterns.   Maybe we should mandate filtration systems in new homes and retrofit existing homes and businesses similar to the low-flush toilet laws, carbon monoxide monitors, etc.

Make no mistake, the municipal water supply cannot be allowed to deteriorate into a sewer, nor should it be manipulated by the powerful.  This public utility must remain just that, publicly accountable to the citizens.  When someone upstream is eliminating and someone downstream is drinking, standards must be maintained externally, come hell or high water!

Hydrofluorosilicic acid: Is this toxic waste and a carcinogen?  Is this a “bait and switch” whereby something that sounds like a good idea is really a toxic waste product that somebody upstream needs to get rid of?  I’d like some answers.

Celia Kiewit is an Encinitas resident.


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  1. Dagny says:

    Right on Celia! I want some answers too. A year ago the City of San Diego began pumping this toxic waste into our water without any warning to the public. Calls and e-mails to my city council representative, Kevin Faulconer, have gone unanswered. I was a fluoride believer at one time until I started doing my own research about what is REALLY being put into our water. For those of you still on the fence, read Dr. Paul Connet’s book The Case Against Fluoride.

  2. James A. Ristow says:

    Celia & Dagbet — your experiance and mine are identical. I have called and e-mailed Faulconer’s office, numerous tmes. I NEVER get through to the (current) Councilman — assistants like Matt Awbrey and, now, as Matt moves up the bureaucratic ladder, a new guy. The new guy has yet to respond to the fluoride issues I have placed before them. I advised them of meetings that they SHOULD have attended — NOBODY — not a single “public servant” showed interest or showed up. If a concerned citizen asks the simple question: Why? They are labeled a “conspiracy theorist”.

    The great (would-be) reformer, Carl DeMaio is no different.
    He refused to “touch” the issue of the unilateral poisoning
    of our water supply. I wish I could get my “donation” back. I actually believed that he might be serios about reform — wrong, again. Nothing but a bunch of bureaucratic boilerplate. Bad news — the rest of the mayoral field is worse. We are going to need more than clean water to bail out San Diego … but let’s persevere on clean water, first!

  3. Leigh says:

    Thanks, Celia, for your writeup on fluoridation.

    I am allergic to fluorosilicic acid, a by-product of aluminum and fertilizer manufacturing that is being added to our water here in San Diego. It only contains 17% fluoride, and the rest is heavy metals and poison like lead and arsenic. It also isn’t good for kidney patients,and it lowers thyroid activity even further for those with low thyroid. That’s why we have an epidemic of low thyroid in this country. It is mass medication without informed consent and the amount can’t be controlled because some drink a little water and others drink several glasses. If one wants fluoride, there are other ways to get it, so why are uninformed city council members making the decision for all the rest of us? If everyone who is reading this writes or emails their city council representative and asks them, changes might happen.

  4. Dr Donald Brust says:

    Has any one stopped to consider why we have an explosion of autism, Parkinsons, Alzheimers and many other neurological conditions hitting the populance. Well it seams that fluoride greatly enhances aluminum uptake from the gut. What is found in these brain lesions—-aluminum. Hummmm could there be a connection that after years of drinking fluoridated water (as in the aged) there could be a connection???????

  5. Seth says:

    Even if a person provides their own fluorosilicate free drinking water via a whole house system or other means, it’s still difficult to avoid this controversial chemical.

    A doctor I corresponded with claimed that drinking water constitutes only about 1/3 of the body’s absorption of this chemical. He estimated that bathing made up another third and wearing clothes that have been washed in fluoridated water the remaining third.

    Furthermore this chemical tends to permeate the entire environment in communities that decide to fluoridate the water supply. That because municipal water is used, well..just about everywhere. So once a community starts flouridating, it becomes very difficult to avoid exposure. People are forced to tolerate it or move.

  6. dave connors says:

    Good article! Floride is , according to the chemical dictionary, ” more poisonous than lead and only slightly less poisonous than arsenic..” . But of course, there is also arsenic being put into our water as it is contained within the floride waste product from the aluminum and fertilzer industries that is being dumped into our water supplies! This whole thing is a master SCAM/confidence job!
    Floride has NEVER in any independent studies (ie,those not done by vested interests!)been shown to reduce cavities and in reality floriDIEsing worsens the health of the teeth by causing ‘dental fluorosis’ which is a discoloration and poisoning of the teeth which If I recall correctly, afflicts over one third of children in floridized communities(note that the “ruling elite” use language/terms/spellings that are designed to influence us in certain ways such as “flouridate” which sounds so pleasant , like ” Let’s go out on a date with flowers”, etc. Also, flouridATE chemically implies, incorrectly in the instant case, the presence of health-giving OXYGEN as in ” potasium chloRATE “,etc.
    We are not obligated to use the tainted , trick language/words designed by master con-men/advertising executives. Let’s call it like it is by utilizing our own more appropriate spellings, etc.! ) .
    I would like to know, Celia, if you are one of those few ( I think I read long ago that it’s about 5% of us, but I’m not sure of this number) fortunate people who never get cavities due to an alkaline saliva. If you could, please check the pH of your saliva (with some litmus paper , for example.A pH of 7 is neutral and higher than 7 is alkaline) and let me know! It is not sugar per se that causes cavities, but acidity! Thanks again! Please keep up the educational information!Dave

  7. Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D. says:

    The RSF Water Dist. told me they would not do this. What has changed? San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water SDSDW.org has been trying to prevent fluosilicic acid disposal into public water in San Diego for some time. None of the supervisors or council or the mayor do anything about it and claim state law (never voted on) ‘forces’ their hand, but the CA Dept. of Health says cities themselves decide whether to inject and thus accept all liability.
    Drinking industrial synthetic fluoride gains entry into the blood at 0.2 ppm where it accumulates permanently into bone. It is a pathologic, linear, unsaturable accumulation, to 2,500 ppm after two years drinking and 4,000 lifetime, weakening bone and altering calcium metabolism. This occurs in all U.S. citizens in fluoridated cities and is responsible for the vast cases of hip fractures in the elderly that do not heal timely.
    Fluoride crosses the blood brain barrier (Varner;Mullenix;Reddy studies). Humans have a large brain capacity that delays symptoms, but children raised on fluoride water have lower IQ and there is no excuse for any city official to disseminate this material to citizens to swallow that is not FDA approved for ingestion.
    Ingested fluoride produces only 0.02 ppm in the saliva that cannot affect teeth topically. Toothpaste contains 1,500 ppm and is not intended to be swallowed (read the FDA label). Non-fluoridated European countries have the same decline in cavities as the U.S. during this fluoridation program. Ingested fluoride is useless for this purpose as found in our largest taxpayer funded study (analyzed by Ziegelbecker in The Case Against Fluoride).
    L.A.’s Water Dist. is being sued for treating people with industrial synthetic fluoride to be taken internally without FDA approval. An FDA petition to ban the injections has been under review for a few years. Meanwhile, HHS requested fluoride in water not exceed 0.7 ppm, but L.A. uses 1.0 and San Diego fluoridated the Zoo at 0.8 anyway. This disregards the voting will of the citizens of San Diego in two separate elections and violates a city ordinance prohibiting fluoride addition into public water. Federal laws are being violated by this state bill attempting to require what the Safe Drinking Water Act prohibits. Brenntag has not data demonstrating eitehr safety or effectiveness and rely on a private company NSF to ‘certify’ the materials without such data. NSF merely requires that it contain less than 10 grams/liter of hydrofluoric acid HF, without understanding that the FDA prohibits HF from being in any product intended for ingestion as in the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act.
    Yes, Rancho Santa Fe and all the horses that have had a happy life with plain water now has water with this diluted toxic calcium chelator listed on all poisons registries, that most U.S. large cities are forced to accept. It is not natural calcium fluoride, which is not a listed poison because calcium is the antidote to fluoride poisoning. Calcium in water in So CA provides some protection, but the injections raise the ratio of fluoride to calcium 4 to 5 times higher, causing assimilation. Long term use by animals, particularly racehorses, must be stopped.

  8. Gina says:

    Thank you for your article. The fluoridation of our drinking water supply is a health threat to all consumers with added consequences for those with compromised health. Although no one can report this issue due to the poewers that control major charitable donations, the SD Zoo and Safari Park are having issues with the fluoridated water and bone health of the larger mammals.

  9. Sharon says:

    Hmmmm…..good information, sounds like socialism to me. The people at the top trying to control the rest of us by ruining our health. Why don’t we have a choice? Oh, yea, we do but no one will listen. WHY? Where is the kick back? Someone is benefiting but it isn’t the citizens. Discussed!

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