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Archive for March, 2012

Fluoridation – Again?

Posted by Rayne Water

I’ve been writing about water issues for a long time now, and was so relieved when, about a year ago, I determined that I could finally quit harping on the fluoridation issue. Many states and municipalities finally listened to consumers and the many scientists who argued that ingesting fluoride is not only pointless, but dangerous and expensive, and stopped adding the chemical to water. In fact, since 1990, more than 300 North American communities, including 43 cities serving at least 3 million residents hav voted to end fluoridation programs. Whew, one down!  BUT WAIT, now I’ve seen several news reports the last couple of months that fluoride is coming back!
Just last month, The Wall Street Journal announced that New Jersey is being threatened with mandatory water fluoridation. The state’s Senate Bill S-959 and Assembly Bill 1811 will require cities to add what the article calls “unnecessary, untested, health-robbing fluoride chemicals” into the public water supplies – all to the tune of $5 billion in start-up costs and $1 billion each year to maintain the practice.
Research shows that there is quite a long list of reasons why we should not want fluoride in drinking water:

  1. Fluoridation chemicals, often purchased from Mexico, China, and Japan, are hazardous waste byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry that are typically contaminated with arsenic, lead, and radionuclides.
  2. More than 40% of adolescents already have dental fluorosis – a visible sign of fluoride toxicity.
  3. Government, health, and dental organizations advise that infant formula should not be mixed with fluoridated water. Many families have to scrape together money for formula, without having to purchase special water with which to mix it.
  4. Low-income children have a greater risk of suffering from all forms of fluoride toxicity since poor diet exacerbates fluoride’s negative effects.
  5. There have been 25 studies showing that fluoride can lower the IQ of children.
  6. Fluoride works topically – and is much more effective when applied in toothpaste or mouth rinse form.

What I found most disturbing was that the Wall Street article indicated that most New Jersey residents did not even know about this bill that’s up for vote! So, keep your hears open and your eyes sharp – the question can arise in other states too!
Already stuck with fluoridation? Here’s what to do – purchase a home drinking water filter. But, when you do, ask the right questions. How much fluoride is left in the filtered water? What percentage does the drinking water system remove? Reverse osmosis or an ion exchange system are the most successful filtration systems. What won’t work? Many faucet-mount filters, many pitcher filters, boiling the water, and freezing the water.

Water Treatment Plants – Source of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Posted by Rayne Water

Wastewater treatment plants were originally designed to protect the environment, cleaning up rivers that were once open drains of human waste. In recent years, many states have relied on wastewater treatment plants to even return clean water back into our drinking water system for relatively quick reuse. Now, Minnesota Public Radio tells us that there is a new category of pollution called emerging contaminants – new substances they don’t know enough about to determine whether they are harmful to the environment and human life. The most troubling of these contaminants, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, are flourishing in wastewater treatment plants.
Since our society uses antibiotics so frequently anymore in medicine, agriculture, and even cleaning products bacteria are evolving to defy antibiotics. Because of the nature of what’s in waste water, the process wastewater treatment plants use, and the chemicals that are used to control bacteria growth, scientists have found that the antibiotic resistant gene is 20-times more common in the outflow of the Minnesota treatment plant as in other water samples they collected.
The good news is that very thorough water filter can capture the contaminants quite effectively. The Duluth plant being studied uses an excellent multi-stage filter – a much more exhaustive system than many treatment plants use. In fact, the plant claims that most treatment plants in the United States don’t have their level of treatment, so this antibiotic-resistant bacteria is likely every where and proliferating quite rapidly. This means people everywhere could be exposed to the bad bugs by swimming in rivers and lakes where wastewater is discharged or even by drinking tap water.
Of course, this study is relatively new, and more scientific data is being considered to determine the level of risk, but adding another layer of defense sure wouldn’t hurt! Here at Rayne of Irvine, we know our California water. We offer tests of your home or business water, and we have technology that has been certified by the Water Quality Association. Our water filters, drinking water systems, water conditioners, and water softeners can be designed to fit your needs and your budget.