Fluoride vs. fish

Stephen Fuller-Rowell, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE

Co-Founder of Fluoride-Free Sonoma County & Member of the Fluoridation Advisory Committee

In recent years, many communities in salmon country on the Pacific Coast have said “No” to community water fluoridation after considering the impact on fish and other creatures living in their waterways. With three endangered salmon species in Sonoma County, the purity of our rivers, creeks and streams is essential.

Our County Health Services Department is currently proposing to fluoridate our public water. This would mean injecting about 60 tons of fluoride chemicals into the water system every year. Because we drink less than 1% of our tap water, more than 99% goes straight down the drain, onto our lawns and gardens, into our sewers, and on our crops and fields. Much runs off into the creeks and waterways in which our fragile salmon species live and migrate.

To examine fluoridation’s potential impact on our fish, the County hired a consultant, Cardno Entrix, who presented their draft report to the County’s Fluoridation Advisory Committee. This committee will discuss the report at its upcoming December 8 meeting.

Unfortunately, the report, entitled Draft Assessment of Potential Impacts to Federally Listed Salmonids from Community Water Fluoridation in Sonoma County, contains a number of fundamental and disturbing deficiencies:

The report focuses on the wrong question and fails to deal with the real threat water fluoridation poses to our fish. The point of this aquatic assessment is to examine the range of risks fluoridation poses to Sonoma County’s fish and waterways. But the consultant focuses its investigation only on whether fluoride levels in our waterways could increase enough to kill or cause physiological changes in fish (this starts to happen at 4.4 parts per million, according to the report).

By limiting its focus to this issue, the consultant avoids grappling with the more realistic risk: Do elevated fluoride levels impact fish migration behavior, their food supply, and their ability to feed? And any changes in normal life cycle, reproduction behavior and the ability to migrate could threaten an entire species.

Read more via Fluoride vs. Fish: Sonoma County Health Dept’s EIR Report.