It is disappointing to see that at least a subgroup of the well-known Sierra Club have fallen in with misinformation.
Whilst doing a little research for my previous article on osteosarcoma rates in relation to water fluoridation in Australia, I stumbled upon the following article; Sierra Club Opposes Portland Water Fluoridation Measure 26-151, on the Oregon Sierra Club Blog.
This news release relies on the same nonsense screamed by QWAF, Merilyn Haines and others.
These include the “toxic waste from fertiliser production” argument, which of course makes about as much sense as calling table salt “urea extract” and completely ignores the chemistry involved, whereby the fluorosilicic acid compound rapidly breaks down to fluoride ions and hydrated silica sand when added to water and does not remain as fluorosilicic acid.
The article also highlights the typical hyped up risks claimed by anti-fluoridation advocates, such as studies demonstrating an increased risk of bone cancer, neurological impairment, thyroid dysfunction “and more” without linking or referencing a single claim.
The article may also contradict itself, or at the least condemn itself with two quotes. One from Giedwoyn whom makes the point that Portland’s water is “some of the purest water in the world…” while Fisheries scientist and Columbia Group Chair Jeff Fryer is quotes as saying that the Portland rivers are “already overloaded with toxins.”
Which is it? Pure or polluted? Or is this a case of upstream-downstream? If the former, there’s your contradiction and if the latter, I suspect the Oregon Sierra Club needs to do more in regards to run-off and grey water management advocacy rather than parrot off unfounded anti-fluoridation propaganda.
The article also complains about the fluoride compounds not being “pharmaceutical grade” but what does this mean other than that it contains a tiny amount of impurities that are known about via analysis and included on the label? These impurities dilute to homeopathy grade when the fluoride compounds are added to water supplies to WHO recommended standards. Fluoride is fluoride regardless.
Furthermore, are they kidding anyone that they would be any happier with water fluoridation were it pharmaceutical grade?
Lastly, the article misleads with large numbers without placing them into context. For instance they mention that more than 1 million pounds or around 454 tonnes of fluoridation chemicals will be added to the water annually. Each molecule includes two hydrogen atoms and a silicon atom as well as the fluoride (H2SiF6). These two can be ignored. By atomic weight, the fluoride atoms amount for about 80% of the mix, bring the total down to 360 tonnes annually.
Taking the average value from the data that the Portland Water Bureau provide, which amounts to 36.66 billion gallons, we end up with an average annual supply of 138.77 gigalitres of water or roughly 138.77 megatonnes of water. Placed into context, the amount of fluoride in the water is miniscule.
The same can be said regarding the ongoing cost. The Oregon Sierra Club quote this ongoing cost as $575,000 annually. Looking again at the Portland Water Bureau data, we find an average customer base of 348,180 people annually. If they shared with cost equally, the per capita cost would be $1.65 annually. $1.65 per year for additional protection from tooth decay seems a pretty sweet deal, if you ask me. One is hard pressed to find a tube of toothpaste for that price nowadays!
The Sierra Club is a well-known environmental organisation with a history spanning more than a century. On the Oregon chapter blog, they claim that their chapter has more than 20,000 members.
Long-time readers of this blog will know only too well my passion for environmental governance. I challenge this article in the same fashion that I challenge anyone. I made the point previously in relation to the angry backlash I faced with my articles on fluoridation; my work does nothing more than point out error. If there is any truth to the claim that fluoridation of drinking water is bad, I’ve seen no evidence for it and the propagators of such claims should be embarrassed for promoting such easily refuted arguments. That’s my work in a nutshell.
The Oregon Sierra Club do themselves no benefits by posting easily refuted claims. In fact, they only hurt their reputation.