When fluoride is added to a municipal water system that is already being treated with chloramine, lead-levels in that water system can increase by up to 800-900% (compared to lead levels for water treated with chloramine alone.) [This impact of the combined additives of chloramine and fluoride to water actually can result in lead levels (at the tap) measured as high as 900 ppb – which is 6,000% of the current EPA hazard level for lead in water (of 15 ppb.)]*
*See link to study below
The mechanism by which this is happening is the combined chemical action of chloramine mixed with fluoride causing an increased corrosivity—acting on pipes, meters, fittings and fixtures along the water delivery pathway (from the source to the tap), creating an increase in the amount of lead being leached from any lead and lead-containing brass alloys in the pipes/meters/fittings/fixtures, and an increased amount of bio-available lead ending up at the tap.
There is no safe level of lead exposure for a child – especially when it comes to ingestion of lead in food and water.
As a result of the potential impact of fluoridated water leading to increased lead exposure in children, it is our recommendation that fluorosilicates not be added to water systems and that the choice to use fluoride (as an oral supplement or topical treatment) be left to the individual family/ parents, based on the needs of their particular child and the results of research or inquiries done by that family and their medical providers.
As parents of children who were lead-poisoned as babies—and who have a consequent demonstrable immunological”fragility”, we personally have chosen not to use any kind of fluoride in our children’s diet (specifically in their daily water intake), so as to limit any future additional related exposure to lead. This is one reason we appreciate living in Portland, Oregon – as Portland does not fluoridate the public water supply, and Portland voters have repeatedly overwhelmingly rejected efforts to fluoridate the water supply.
First and foremost the Lead Safe America Foundation encourages parents to learn all they can about an issue or component of an issue so they can make informed choices for themselves and their family.
Water fluoridation is no different – especially and specifically when considering the impact on your child’s total/ aggregate lead exposure.
Tamara & Len Rubin
Lead Safe America Foundation
Studies and Links regarding the lead/fluoride relationship:
Science Direct, 2007: Effects of fluoridation and disinfection agent combinations on lead
leaching from leaded-brass parts, September 2007:
“Over the first test week (after CL flushing concentrations were increased from 1.0 to 2.0 ppm) lead concentrations nearly doubled (from about 100 to nearly 200 ppb), but when FSA was also included, lead concentrations spiked to over 900 ppb. Lead concentrations from the CL-based waters appeared to be decreasing over the study period, while for the CA + NH3 + FSA combination, lead concentrations seemed to be increasing with time.”
LEAD SAFE AMERICA COMMENT: With the “base” concentration in the study being 100 ppb and the spike to 900 ppb observed combined with the fact that the “naturally occurring” amount of lead in water is closer to approaching 0 (zero) ppb – and the current (2014) level at which lead is considered toxic in water set at 15 ppb by the EPA- this study shows the presence of chloramine & fluoride added to the water system combining to create as much as an 800-900% increase in lead in the water. [possibly more than 900% increasing depending on what you use as a base for the calculation.]
EPA STATEMENT ON Lead in Water: http://water.epa.gov/drink/info/lead/index.cfm
0.015 parts per million (ppm) is 15 parts per billion (ppb)
CENTER for Environment, Commerce & Energy, September 2010: http://cenvironment.blogspot.com/2010/09/chloraminelead-pipesfluoridecontaminate.html
“Chloramine+Lead Pipes+Fluoride=Contaminated Tap Water”
“American water utilities are increasingly switching to chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, for final disinfection of drinking water. Chloramine was supposed to be a “safer” water disinfectant than chlorine because it reduces formation of toxic chlorination byproducts. A 2005 survey by the American Water Works Association found that approximately a third of all utilities now use chloramines. Water disinfection byproducts are associated with increased risk of cancer and possibly adverse effects on the development of the fetus, so minimizing their levels in drinking water is a good thing. Yet, chloramines drastically increase the leaching of lead from pipes.”
Environmental Working Group, July 13, 2009: http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2009/07/chloramine-lead-pipes-fluoride-contaminated-tap-water
“Here comes a second unpleasant “surprise” for those in lead-piped locations: fluorosilicates have a unique affinity for lead. In fact, lead fluorosilicate is one of the most water-soluble forms of lead. In fact, fluorosilicic acid has been used as a solvent for lead and other heavy metals in metallurgy. In industrial applications, chemical engineers rely on this acid to remove surface lead from leaded-brass machine parts. Research shows what happens when we mix it all up What happens when fluorosilicates in water pass through lead-containing pipes and metal fixtures? Not surprisingly, the fluorosilicates extract high levels of soluble lead from leaded-brass metal parts (researchers from the Environmental Quality Institute of the University of North Carolina-Asheville performed this actual experiment).”
DARTMOUTH NEWS, 1999: http://fluoridation.com/lead.htm
“A study published this month in the International Journal of Environmental Studies, and led by Roger Masters, Emeritus professor of government at Dartmouth, describes a factor that is correlated with higher lead levels in children. Analyzing a survey of over 280,000 Massachusetts children, the investigators found that silicofluorides — chemicals widely used in treating public water supplies — are associated with an increase in children’s absorption of lead. The research team included Myron J. Coplan, retired Vice President of Albany International and principal of Intellequity, Natick, Mass., and Brian T. Hone, research associate at Dartmouth College.”
Missouri Lead Commission, 1994: http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/fluoride-and-lead
“All of the fluoride products used in the artificial fluoridation of water are contaminated with lead and arsenic. (We received the evidence from Margaret Stasikowski, an official with the EPA, in the form of copies of pages from Water Chemicals Codex, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 1982.)”
Pure Water Freedom (year not noted): http://www.purewaterfreedom.com/osc/Limit_Fluoride_to_prevent_Lead_Poisoning.php
NEW YORK, March 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Fluoride chemicals added to public water supplies, boosts lead absorption in lab animals’ bones, teeth and blood, report Sawan, et al. (Toxicology 2/2010). Earlier studies already show children’s blood-lead-levels are higher in fluoridated communities, reports Sawan’s research team.