Much of the fluoride added to municipal water supplies across the United States is imported from China, and is contaminated with heavy metals, according to a warning by Bernard Miltenberger, president of the Pure Water Committee of Western Maryland.
In a letter published in the Cumberland Times-News, Miltenberger notes that he first became aware of the issue in an engineering report for the city of Boulder, Colo. The report noted that the fluoridation chemicals used for the city’s water had been evaluated, and were found to contain lead levels of 40 milligrams per bag and arsenic levels of 50 milligrams per bag. The bags were being imported from China under no regulatory monitoring of acid or salt content.
Miltenberger then visited the Frostburg Water Filtration Plant in Maryland and noticed that the fluoride bags were not labeled with any importation information. He contacted the plant’s chemical supplier, Univar USA, and was then referred to Sovay fluorides. Sovay informed him that the fluoride had been manufactured by Shanghai Minthchem Development in China.
“This type of trade from a country with a track record of lead paint on toys to antifreeze in cough syrup medicine is completely unacceptable,” Miltenberger writes.
Heavy metal contamination is only the latest concern to emerge over the practice of water fluoridation, which has been controversial since its inception. Fluoride is a well-known toxic chemical, as Miltenberger notes:
“The material safety data sheets from Solvay fluorides show that a teaspoon amount of five grams of sodium fluoride can be fatal to an average size man of 70kg. … chronic toxicity by oral route may cause skeletal and dental fluorosis, thyroid, testes, kidney, liver, ambiguous carcinogenic and mutagenic effects, fetotoxic and fertility effects.”
Miltenberger also notes that fluoride toothpaste contains a warning that anyone who consumes more than a pea-size amount should contact a poison control center at once. This amount of toothpaste contains as much fluoride as just eight ounces of fluoridated water. A prescription-strength fluoride supplement marketed by Colgate warns that children under the age of six should not consume doses regularly added to municipal water.
Read More: Fluoride from China