Thursday, August 4, 2016

Town of Pincher Creek fluoridation poll results released

(Graphics from Town of  Pincher Creek fluoridation survey report)

Christian Davis - At their August 3, 2016 meeting the Town of Pincher Creek's Committee of the Whole (COW) received the results of the Town's recently conducted fluoridation poll. Council heard from Town of Pincher Creek Director of Operations Al Roth, Water Treatment Plant Operator Blaise Bruder, and the Town's engineer Albert Tagoe of Talbera Engineering Ltd. Roth, Bruder, and Tagoe also spoke to the committee about upcoming repairs to the water treatment plant and water supply issues, which will be the subject of a separate upcoming article. All members of council and CAO Laurie Wilgosh were present for the meeting.  After much discussion, council decided to accept the Administration and Operations Committee report as information, effectively shelving the issue, with councillor Lorne Jackson casting the one dissenting vote.

The pros and cons of fluoridation are not a new subject for debate, in Pincher Creek and elsewhere.  According to the Administration and Operations Committee document discussed at the COW meeting,  the idea of fluoridation was introduced to Town of Pincher Creek council on August 28, 1961 by the local Chamber of Commerce. "On September 25, 1967 Bylaw No. 1078 was given first reading, allowing for the Town of Pincher Creek to hold a plebiscite under Section 345B of the Town & Village Act, which has since been replaced with the Municipal Government Act."  Of  1625 eligible voters at the time 439 citizens actually voted, with 275 favoring water fluoridation and 160 against it. "On March 11, 1968 Bylaw No. 1078 was read for the second and third time, allowing for the fluoridation of municipal drinking water."

According the Administration and Operations Committee report "The Town of Pincher Creek Operations department still fluoridates the municipal water supply but with increased health and safety regulations the process has become somewhat cumbersome. The process takes one crew member a minimum of one {1) hour per day 365 days a year to ensure the system runs correctly. If there are any deficiencies, we are held accountable by Alberta Environment and Parks who work in conjunction with Alberta Health Services to ensure that drinking water is held to the highest of standards."

"Tests on both the raw water and treated water must be preformed daily, a test that is quite time consuming and has to be done with utmost precision and if performed incorrectly a false reading maybe obtained. Along with daily testing we are required, by the Alberta Government under the Standards and Guidelines for Municipal Waterworks, Wastewater and Storm Drainage Systems, to send in monthly samples to an external lab for testing on both raw water and treated water from our plant."

"Running tests is just the tip of the fluoridation operation iceberg. To meet the daily requirement, an amount of 0.0000008% of our drinking water must be pumped from a bulk barrel to the day tank that is stationed on a scale. An example of scale would be one drop from an eye dropper, approximately 0.05 ml, in 62,500L of water, or the equivalent amount of water held in a large water truck tanker."

"Due to the toxicity and corrosiveness of hydrofluorosilicic acid, the chemical used to increase fluoride levels, it is necessary to monitor and maintain the pump and scale to ensure accuracy. If the equipment malfunctions for any given reason crews must inform Alberta Environment and Parks immediately or the risk of losing the water license is present. That being said the only method to clean the equipment is with a stronger acid solution run though the lines and applied to the moving parts of the scale. All crew members are required to be fully trained in WHMIS, Transportation of Dangerous goods, and how to use the correct respiration equipment needed to clean and handle the required chemicals"

"Crews must ensure that all measurement and required information is logged correctly in a master spread sheet that is a requirement in maintaining our water licence."

Pincher Creek water treatment plant fluoridation room Town of Pincher Creek photos

As pictured above, the corrosive nature of fluoridation can be seen on the door leading to the fluoridation room at the Pincher Creek water treatment plant, and on the metal apparatus in the room.

Fluoridation Poll Results
(from Administration and Operation Committee report)
The poll was presented in both paper form and as a poll on the Citizens request. The paper forms were available at the annual trade fair and at the front desk in Town Office. There were 104 votes in total. The results are as follows.

Question: What do you think about fluoridated water?
(Poll Response/Votes/Percent)
  • I think it's great: 35/34%
  • I think it's ok: 12/11%
  • I do not know: 2/2%
  • I do not like it: 16/15%
  • I hate the idea: 37/36%
  • I need more information: 2/2%
Fluoridated Water - For and Against
  • Against: 51%
  • For: 45%
  • Need more info: 2%
  • So not know: 2%
Comments by poll responders:
  • Fluoride should be put in by ourselves (fluoride drops) as opposed to the total water supply 
  • We need it
  • My grandson is in kindergarten in Pincher Creek. I do not want him drinking water with hydrofluorosilicic death acid added.
  • It's not necessary its been studied to death
  • Great taste
  • Please end water fluoridation in Pincher Creek
  • I don't like it at all
  • Did you know fluoridation doesn't agree with a lot of people
  • Some kids don't get that dentist chance and both of my kids grew up cavity free 
  • Not needed
  • extra costs for no value
  • not good for your health
  • I love the taste of our water 
  • I believe in fluoridated water
  • In regards to the practice of artificial water Fluoridation: Bringing this topic into the public domain and putting it to a vote is risky. One of the risks is that we are asking the public to vote on a highly controversial subject in which an extremely limited number of people are educated on. Furthermore, when individuals set out to educate themselves via the obvious channels, ie: Government of Canada websites, Alberta Health Services websites etc. the information found in those locations is completely biased towards Fluoridation. So the likelihood of getting it removed from the water is marginal when put to a vote. My recommendation is to have Town Council decide via a plebiscite vote to remove water Fluoridation and to cite financial reasons as the impetus to remove it. That is to say, it costs the Town of Pincher Creek to buy it, inject it, monitoring it etc. and it is hard on equipment at the water treatment plant, causing unwanted deterioration of associated pipes, valves etc... Additionally, if it does go to a public vote, you are now putting the uninformed public in charge of a medical decision for the inhabitants of the Town - this is not a responsible action unless the public is completely informed on the risks, dangers, complications and side effects of artificial water Fluoridation. Simply saying that it is endorsed by Health Canada etc. is no longer suffice for this subject matter - Greg Hession
  • FLUORIDE IN MY WATER who has the right to add a chemical to our drinking water without a plebiscite! Why do we need fluoride to water our gardens, wash our cars, etc. This is outrageous!!
  • I urge the town to stop putting additional fluoride in our drinking water.  This practice is not based on good science.  Fluoride added to our drinking water is just an added toxin and has no benefit to dental health.  We are wasting our money and the general health of our community with this practice.  Please stop it.
  • This is not required
  • in favor of adding fluoride to our water
  • Except for those with allergies
  • I completely support fluoride in Pincher Creek's water. It is safe and necessary for healthy teeth. Please keep fluoride in our water
  • never hurt us before
  • There is too much legislation governing what should be personal choices. I decide what goes into my body. I will look after my teeth etc.
  • Please keep fluoridating the water. I can't believe we are even debating this. Listen to dentists and doctors, not conspiracies. I would prefer to pay for a little fluoride rather than a dentist bill for my kids.
  • Fluoride is in toothpaste and cities across North America are stop using it.
  • Remove it... Fluoride can be contaminated with lead, tungsten, and aluminum. It can also become more toxic with other substances in water or drugs. Its unethical, does cannot be controlled, may other sources, not an essential nutrient, it accumulates in the body, no health agency is monitoring exposure or side effects, never a single randomized trial to demonstrate effectiveness or safety, benefit is topical not systematic, children are being over-exposed, may damage brain, lower IQ, nuerotoxic effects, affects thyroid and pineal function, arthritic conditions, people with impaired kidney function are vulnerable a to bone damage ... Any one of these is of enough to halt it. Benefits are minimal compared to damage being caused.
  • I urge the town to stop putting additional fluoride in our drinking water. This practice is not based on good science. Fluoride applied directly to teeth may help with cavity prevention. Fluoride added to our drinking water is just an added toxin and has no benefit to dental health. We are wasting our money and the general health of our community with this practice. Please stop it.
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