----- Original Message -----
From: Sandra Finley
To: sabest1@sasktel.net
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:55 AM
Subject: Water: Change attitude, Behaviour changes de



(#2 uses the example of fluoride - it is useful for pointing out our
silliness.  Inane behaviour.)

Change attitude, Behaviour changes

1. Anything upon which our life is dependent for survival would be sacred,
if we are intelligent beings. If we knew in our hearts, the connection
between our very life and water, we would not abuse this gift. (It is not "a
resource", but a gift to be cherished.) If we change from a Disneyland
attitude to one that has a basis in sacred reality, we could advance toward
solutions. North Americans and Europeans need to learn how to get down on
our knees and express gratitude for water.

2. I am happy to see suggestions for individual collection of rain water
(cisterns). To "treat" all our water, including that which will be "flushed
down the toilet" is not intelligent behaviour.

One little example: When fluoride is added to a city's water supply, it goes
into ALL the water - that which waters lawns and gardens, flushes toilets,
washes clothes and cars, bathes and showers our bodies, etc. It is much
smarter to rely on the fluoride in toothpaste to get to teeth.

When you look at all the communities that add fluoride to the water supply,
we must be putting one huge pile of it into the environment.

Time magazine: "fluoride is indisputably toxic; it was once commonly used in
rat poison. . The optimal level of fluoride in water, according to the
Centre for Disease Control, is between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million. In
1985 political appointees at the EPA raised the acceptable level of fluoride
in drinking water to 4 p.p.m., over objections from agency scientists." The
world changes, fluoride is in toothpaste, dentists administer it directly to
teeth. Who knows how many ppm's are going into the bodies of children?

(From Fay) "I'm not sure currently, I believe in l998 the costs were
$400,000 just for the chemical in Calgary, not including man hours etc. It
is hard to get a straight answer... I believe uncharted costs include
replacement costs for corrosion of pipes (to homeowners) etc etc."

Step by step we need to reverse the trend of dumping anything and everything
into the water supply, using it as a toxic dumping ground.
In the words of David Suzuki, "What we do to water, we do to ourselves". (A
large percentage of our bodies is water. We are not separate from water.)

The use of cisterns is a starting point to the separation of the water
supply, according to its intended end use.


To participate in the Habitat Jam:
I had a little trouble at the beginning. What is in front of your face is to
enter your email address and password.  BUT before you can do that, you have
to have registered, which is a little box to the right.


Subject: TIME fluoridation article


 Sunday, Oct. 16, 2005
Not in My Water Supply
It hardens teeth and prevents cavities, but 60 years after it began,
fluoridation is meeting new resistance

Somebody put a dead rat in Curtis Smith's mailbox. Someone else has
made anonymous phone calls accusing him of trying to poison his
neighbors. And all around the usually placid university town of
Bellingham, Wash., activists from a group called Citizens Against
Forced Fluoride have planted lawn signs adorned with skull and
crossbones. "I had no idea it would get this intense," says Smith, 70,
a retired dentist who is leading a Nov. 8 ballot initiative to add
fluoride to the local drinking water. "These are very angry people."

Angry indeed: fluoridation to fight tooth decay, a hot-button issue
from the 1950s--when it was attacked as a communist plot--is back on
the front burner and not just in Washington State. Fueled by health
concerns, cancer fears and a grass-roots campaign that has flooded the
Internet with antifluoridation Web pages, citizens across the U.S. are
increasingly suspicious of what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
considers "one of the 10 great public-health achievements of the 20th
century." In the past three years, legislation to encourage
fluoridation has been defeated or tabled in Oregon, Arkansas, Nebraska
and Hawaii. New battles are brewing in New Jersey, Massachusetts and
across the Canadian border in Montreal.

No one disputes the fact that fluoride, a natural element found in
rocks and groundwater, protects tooth enamel. Since 1945, municipal
systems serving 170 million Americans have added fluoride (mostly in
the form of hydrofluorosilicic acid) to their water, and the
prevalence of cavities in the U.S. has fallen dramatically. "A
community can save about $38 in dental-treatment costs for every $1
invested in fluoridation," says William Maas, the CDC's director of
oral health. "How many other investments yield that kind of return?"

But much has changed since 1945, starting with our toothpastes. Today
fluoride is an ingredient in most brands of dentifrice on the market.
Because toothpaste is designed to be spit out, it's a more efficient
way to get the decay-fighting ingredient where it is needed and
nowhere else. Even some dentists, who see firsthand the benefits of
fluoridation, wonder whether people who get fluoride from toothpaste
should get it in their drinking water as well.

What has also changed is how much toxicologists know about the harmful
effects of fluoride compounds. Ingested in high doses, fluoride is
indisputably toxic; it was once commonly used in rat poison. Hydrogen
fluoride is regulated as a hazardous pollutant in emissions from
chemical plants and has been linked to respiratory illness. Even in
toothpaste, sodium fluoride is a health concern. In 1997 the Food and
Drug Administration toughened the warning on every tube to read, "If
more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical
help or contact a poison-control center right away."

The most recent--and controversial--charge links fluoridation with
bone cancer. In June the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a watchdog
organization, petitioned the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to
list fluoride in tap water as a carcinogen. The group cited "decades
of peer-review studies" on fluoride's "ability to mutate DNA and its
known deposition on the ends of growing bones, the site of
osteosarcoma"--a rare, often fatal cancer that affects mainly boys.

Federal health officials view those concerns as exaggerated. Current
standards rely on a 1993 review of published studies by the National
Academy of Sciences, which found "no credible evidence for an
association between fluoride in drinking water and the risk of
cancer." The academy has launched a new review to be released in

The stakes were raised in July when Harvard University opened an
investigation into whether a prominent dentistry professor had
suppressed research by one of his doctoral students in a report to the
NIH. The 2001 thesis showed a sevenfold increased risk of osteosarcoma
in preadolescent boys from fluoridated water. The supervising
professor, Chester Douglass, edits a newsletter funded by
Colgate--which makes fluoridated toothpaste--creating "the appearance
of a conflict of interest," according to the EWG, which filed a charge
of "scientific misconduct" with the federal agency. Douglass was
unavailable for comment, but a Harvard spokesman said the university
takes the allegations "seriously."

Meanwhile, unions representing 7,000 employees at the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) have waded into the debate. The optimal level
of fluoride in water, according to the CDC, is between 0.7 and 1.2
parts per million. In 1985 political appointees at the EPA raised the
acceptable level of fluoride in drinking water to 4 p.p.m., over
objections from agency scientists. The Natural Resources Defense
Council sued the agency, charging that the safety margin was
inadequate, but in 1987 a U.S. district court ruled that the EPA
administrators had the authority to set fluoride levels. EPA union
representatives reopened the issue in August, calling on EPA
administrator Stephen Johnson to issue a moratorium on fluoridation
and to set a goal of zero fluoride in tap water. "The EPA has an
ethical duty to send an effective warning immediately about this
hazard," they said.

All this makes for a potent mix, especially when filtered through the
Internet, where health-safety concerns tend to get amplified. Much of
the opposition to the fluoridation initiative in Bellingham comes from
people like Lane Weaver, a fire-alarm technician, and his wife
Danelle, a housewife and mother of two. When they first heard about
the issue this summer, the Weavers Googled the word fluoridation. Nine
of the first 10 items that came up were decidedly antifluoride. "I was
horrified," says Danelle. "Why would I want to put a toxic industrial
chemical in my children's bodies?" She joined Citizens Against Forced
Fluoride, and now--with a 6-in.-high stack of scientific studies
gleaned from the Web--she staffs an information booth at the local
farmers' market.

If the risks of water fluoridation are hotly debated, quantifying its
benefits is also tricky. In the 1950s, advocates claimed a 60% drop in
cavities. But with the spread of fluoride toothpastes and the use of
plastic sealants by dentists, decay has plummeted even in regions
where there is little or no fluoride in the water. A 2001 CDC study
found that by the time they were 12, kids in fluoridated communities
averaged only 1.4 fewer cavities than those in non-fluoridated areas.
And even in fluoridated cities, severe decay remains rampant among the
poor--partly because some 85% of dentists, according to state surveys,
reject Medicaid patients. Still, for those with little dental care,
water fluoridation makes a difference, contends Bellingham's Curtis
Smith. "Twenty percent of our kids account for 80% of the cavities,"
he says. "With fluoride in the water, they would get a blast every
time they drink."

But in parsing risks, Bellingham is also weighing an undisputed side
effect of ingestion. The CDC recently announced that 32% of American
children now have some form of dental fluorosis, a white or brown
mottling of the teeth. U.S. health officials see it as a cosmetic
issue, largely caused by ill-advised swallowing of toothpaste, while
fluoride critics say it shows that children are accumulating too much
fluoride overall. The World Health Organization sets a fluoride-safety
standard of 1.5 p.p.m.--well below the EPA's 4-p.p.m. rule--partly to
prevent enamel fluorosis. And in Western Europe, where the drop in
tooth decay in recent decades is as sharp as that in the U.S., 17 of
21 countries have either refused or discontinued fluoridation,
contending that fluoride toothpastes offer adequate protection. (Only
Ireland adds fluoride to most of its water systems, while Switzerland
fluoridates its salt.)

Those facts, recycled through Web-savvy organizations like the
Fluoride Action Network, are stirring up activists. While city
councils and water boards tend to fluoridate when they have the power,
the electorate is far more divided. Over the past five years, the
practice was voted down in 38 of 79 referendums, from Modesto, Calif.,
to Worcester, Mass. "The Internet is making it light-years more
difficult to fluoridate," says Smith. The Washington State Dental
Association is backing his $300,000 pro-fluoride campaign. Danelle
Weaver and her friends, meanwhile, have raised less than $10,000. But
they are undaunted. "People think we are tinfoil hatters," says
Weaver, "but we're just average families who take the time to research
and want what's best for our children." That goal is the only thing
both sides seem to share.

Email from:
Sandra Finley
Saskatoon, SK

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