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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Citizen expresses concerns about fluoridation in public water

Greg Hession speaks to Pincher Creek Town council
Toni Lucas

Citizen Greg Hession appeared as a delegation to the council for the Town of Pincher Creek about his concerns about public water fluoridation during council's regular meeting  Monday evening, August 24. Hession is a Beaver Mines resident who grew up in Ottawa, Ontario. He said he studied to be a civil engineer for 5 years, with a focus on environment, water and waste water treatment. He said he is concerned about moral, ethical, and health issues regarding adding fluoride to water. "We need to exercise caution when it comes to providing a medication to everybody in the community as kind of 'miracle drug' that's going to help everybody promote better oral hygiene when it comes to tooth decay and creating stronger tooth enamel."

Hession said he is concerned for human beings, pets, and livestock who ingest the water, as fluoride is a neurotoxin that affects every tissue in the body. Hession said fluoride can negatively affect young people, seniors, those with compromised immune systems, people with diabetes, and those with lowered kidney function.

"Water fluoridation is a practice that has been around since the mid 40s," he said, explaining the practice started for public health as the chemical was found to help strengthen teeth. "The challenge that's presented to towns and cities is we've been doing it for so long now, why would we all of a sudden stop doing it?"

Hession said only 8% of all countries worldwide add fluoride to water. "In fact, in some countries, it is illegal, it is criminal to do such a thing." He said there are hazards and risks with large amounts of fluoride in water even if it is naturally occurring.  He said there is no control over how much water an individual is taking in. As a result, there is no control over the dosage when the water is used as a distribution method for fluoride.   He said he is concerned about and individual's right to make an informed consent.   "We're talking about adding a drug, a chemical to the water source that's delivered to everybody."

Hession said there is controversy in the medical community about the use of fluoride in the water. "What Health Canada, and Alberta Health Services, and the Town of Pincher Creek is allowed to do to the entire population, that is, to medicate without consent, no one single doctor can do to any one individual."

Hession said that there are studies that show comparisons between people in communities with and without added fluoride in the water. "We will find there is actually no statistical difference in the amount of tooth decay between the two communities."

He itemized various steps the Town of Pincher Creek uses to maintain a high quality drinking water for the area. "One of the last things we do to the water before it leaves plant is we inject hydrofluorosilicic acid." He said he has investigated where the product comes from and this is not a medical grade product. He explained it is usually a byproduct an aluminum smelting plant or a phosphate fertilizer plant. "The way they get the product is through the wet scrubbers from the smokestacks." Hession explained the smokestack wet scrubbers are where various chemicals are trapped instead of being burned off into the atmosphere. "No further treatment required, it goes into 55 gallon drums, or tankers, delivered to water treatment plants throughout north America..." he then listed various other countries that allow water fluoridation.

He is very skeptical of any single drug that could be safely administered to good effect to an entire population without side effects. "It would be the only drug of it's nature on the entire face of the planet."

He also talked about the upcoming presentation from Dr. Paul Connett at Cowley Community Hall on Wednesday, 26th at 6:30. Speaking about Connett, his son, and other professionals Hession said "They are really leading the anti-fluoridation movement in America." The presentation is on incineration, but Hession invited the council members to attend and ask if Connett is willing to discuss fluoridation practices with them.

"I hope that some of what I've shared with you tonight will resonate," said Hession.  "Remembering that as individuals we have the right to informed consent, and really, it just comes down to a moral and ethical question."

Mayor Don Anderberg thanked Hession for his presentation and said it will be discussed at a future meeting.

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