The San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water coalition forms.
The amount of fluoride in the city of San Diego's water system was increased starting February 1, 2011. In January, the San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water Coalition (SDSDW) formed to try to prevent this action. SDSDW is a collective body of individuals, including dentists, doctors, scientists, journalists, engineers, other professionals, and members of the public at large who are opposed to the treatment of San Diego's water with toxic waste, fluosilicic acid water. In a month, this coalition has become month, this coalition has become an organized effort with a name, web site, Facebook page, and Code of Conduct who are "are earning national and international attention for our cause, because we're not alone."
In the 1950s, San Diego residents voted to ban putting any fluoride compound into the drinking water. The City of San Diego Municipal code (Section 67) enacted by the citizens in 1954 states "it is hereby declared to be unlawful for any person, including the City of San Diego and for its elective or appointed officers or employees, to use in or add to the water supply of this City any Fluorine, Sodium Fluoride, Sodium Silico Fluoride or any Fluoride compound, or to treat such water supply with aforesaid chemicals before delivery to the consumers thereof." Municipal Code 67 still stands today.
It also states that no taxpayer money should be used to fund the treatment of San Diego's drinking water. However, that is what happened: the funds used to prepare the treatment plants and treat the water for two years came from a $3.9 million donation from the First 5 Commission (also known as the California Children and Families Commission), which receives its funding through state tobacco tax dollars. In addition, state law says that no water district can be compelled to fluoridate unless funds come from sources "other than rate payers and tax payers." However, the City Attorney's Office has said that prohibition is superseded by a state law mandating that water agencies with more than 10,000 customers add fluoride, now that San Diego has outside funding.
Arian Collins from the San Diego Water Department said health isn't the main reason for putting fluoride in the water. "The city doesn't take sides on the health aspect," he said, "The city has to do this. We would receive severe fines from the state if we did not comply." The original state fluoride bill AB 733 also does not mention or authorize use of fluosilicic acid as a usable source of fluoride. It is NOT natural calcium fluoride, and the FDA has NEVER approved any synthetic fluorides for human ingestion.
At the first meeting of the SDSDW water (with over 100 attendees), several people commented on feeling that no one cared. They were extremely grateful and excited to know that there were others who shared their concerns and opinions, and that they have a voice. They have presented before City Council this past month, which lead to Council member Carl DeMaio asking the City Attorney to follow up on the laws that are currently in place to protect San Diegans from fluoride treated water (Municipal code Section 67), and to look in to the use of First 5 Commission funding (tobacco tax dollars) to initiate the construction of treatment tanks and for two years of injections. Cost of future injections will be passed on to the consumer via water rate fees.
In January, federal health officials announced that they planned to reduce the target level for fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 milligrams per liter, at the lowest end of the range they have deemed acceptable. They said people get fluoride from many different sources now and there doesn't need to be so much in the water. Alma Rice, a representative of the San Diego Public Utilities Department said she was not aware of the EPA's recent recommendations. San Diego's utility department is targeting 0.8 milligrams per liter and said it will reassess once federal guidelines are final. The higher fluoride levels are to be phased in over the next month.
SDSDW now has four active committees: Marketing, Outreach, Legal and Scientific, and they need more volunteers.
To get involved with or to support SDSDW, contact them at:
YouTube Channel: SanDiegansforSafeH2O
Facebook: San Diegans For Safe Drinking Water
by Diane Ake, Editor