Lead Pipes And Fluoridation: A Toxic Combination

By: Terry Wilson

A big story in Toronto's main stream media right now is story about lead contamination in the cities tap water.

"Minnan-Wong faced questions about water quality after a Toronto Star report found 13 per cent of household tests conducted over the past six years showed unsafe levels of lead.

The newspaper's finding is based on an analysis of data compiled by the city after Torontonians submitted 15,000 samples from their water taps between 2008 and 2014.

A majority of the unsafe levels were found in aging neighbourhoods where infrastructure is old and real estate values are typically high, the Star reported Tuesday.

High Park, Lawrence Park, the downtown south Annex and sections of East York had the largest concentration of dangerously high levels."

Drinking water that is contaminated with lead has several health effects.

In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.
Source: epa.gov

What this main stream report leaves out is the interaction between lead and fluoride in the water systems.

It is a well known fact that fluoride increases the amounts of lead that are absorbed by the human body.

Fluoridation Increases Lead Absorption in Children

"The chemical most commonly used to fluoridate America's drinking water is associated with an increase in children's blood lead levels, according to research being presented to the 17th International Neurotoxicology Conference ("Children's Health and the Environment," Little Rock, Arkansas, October 17-20, 1999).

Most studies that purport fluoridation's safety and effectiveness in preventing cavities use the chemical sodium fluoride. However, most communities inject cheaper silicofluorides (fluorosilicic acid and sodium silicofluoride) into their drinking water based on the theory that each chemical comes apart totally, so that freed fluoride can incorporate into tooth enamel. How-ever, the silicofluorides (SiF) do not separate completely, as sodium fluoride does, reports Professor Roger D. Masters, Ph.D., of Dartmouth College, and co-researcher Myron Coplan, chemical engineer. "As a result, water treatment with silicofluorides apparently functions to increase the cellular uptake of lead," they state.

In research published in the International Journal of Environmental Studies (September 1999), Masters and Coplan studied lead screening data from 280,000 Massachusetts children. They found that average blood lead levels are significantly higher in children living in communities whose water is treated with silicofluorides. Data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (NHANES III) and a survey of over 120,000 children in New York towns (population 15,000 to 75,000) corroborate this effect. Masters and Coplan reported that some minorities are especially at risk in high SiF exposure areas, where Black and Mexican American children have significantly higher blood lead levels than they do in unfluoridated communities."
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  • Note: silicofluorides are also contaminated with arsenic and several other toxic chemicals

The combination of lead pipes and fluoridated water create a toxic situation for anyone drinking tap water and the risk is not only present in Toronto. A vast majority of fluoridated communities in North America still have lead pipes in the water systems.


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