Monthly Archives: February 2016

Baltimore Water Fluoridation Today Continues Mistake of the Past

Baltimore did have a role in the institutionalization of communal water fluoridation. Dr. Abel Wolman of Johns Hopkins University strongly opposed the addition of fluoride. But his mind was changed by arm-twisting from water industry interests. Wolman was clearly on the right track in opposing fluoridation until industry stepped in. Continued support for addition of fluoride to water is simply based on circular reasoning. 

Daws S. Baltimore and the Beginnings of the Fluoride Controversy. Journal of the history of dentistry. 2015 Summer-Fall;63(2):54-63.

The fluoridation of municipal water as a preventive dental health measure has proven to be a contentious issue from its very outset. In 1952, Baltimore became the first major city in the United States to artificially add fluoride to its water supply. This study draws largely on print media sources as a means of discerning public sentiment, in order to evaluate the nature of Baltimore’s fluoride controversy in its infancy. Initial response was influenced by prior exposure to the substance within the context of dentistry, as well as a continued trend of conservatism within the community. Logistical issues during implementation due to the necessary upscale of established practices to accommodate Baltimore’s population served to further exacerbate concerns. Much of the opposition was predicated on the breadth of the measure, as evidenced by the myriad of personal concerns put forth in objection. Personal concerns developed into demands for personal autonomy, providing a philosophical foundation for the anti-fluoridation movement that persists today.

Fluoride in North China Lower Plain Groundwater

Kong XL, Wang SQ, Zhao H, Yuan RQ.  [Distribution Characteristics and Source of Fluoride in Groundwater in Lower Plain Area of North China Plain: A Case Study in Nanpi County]. [Article in Chinese]   [bian ji, Zhongguo ke xue yuan huan jing ke xue wei yuan hui “Huan jing ke xue” bian ji wei yuan hui.].” 2015 Nov;36(11):4051-9.

There is an obvious regional contradiction between water resources and agricultural produce in lower plain area of North China, however, excessive fluorine in deep groundwater further limits the use of regional water resources. In order to understand the spatial distribution characteristics and source of F(-) in groundwater, study was carried out in Nanpi County by field survey and sampling, hydrogeochemical analysis and stable isotopes methods. The results showed that the center of low fluoride concentrations of shallow groundwater was located around reservoir of Dalang Lake, and centers of high fluoride concentrations were located in southeast and southwest of the study area. The region with high fluoride concentration was consistent with the over-exploitation region of deep groundwater. Point source pollution of subsurface drainage and non-point source of irrigation with deep groundwater in some regions were the main causes for the increasing F(-) concentrations of shallow groundwater in parts of the sampling sites. Rock deposition and hydrogeology conditions were the main causes for the high F(-) concentrations (1.00 mg x L(-1), threshold of drinking water quality standard in China) in deep groundwater. F(-) released from clay minerals into the water increased the F(-) concentrations in deep groundwater because of over-exploitation. With the increasing exploitation and utilization of brackish shallow groundwater and the compressing and restricting of deep groundwater exploitation, the water environment in the middle and east lower plain area of North China will undergo significant change, and it is important to identify the distribution and source of F(-) in surface water and groundwater for reasonable development and use of water resources in future.

Drinking Water Fluoride Not Associated with Refractive Errors, China

Bin G, Liu H, Zhao C, Zhou G, Ding X, Zhang N, Xu Y, Qi Y. Refractive Errors in Northern China Between the Residents with Drinking Water Containing Excessive Fluorine and Normal Drinking Water. Biological trace element research. 2016 Feb 27.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the refractive errors and the demographic associations between drinking water with excessive fluoride and normal drinking water among residents in Northern China. Of the 1843 residents, 1415 (aged ≥40 years) were divided into drinking-water-excessive fluoride (DWEF) group (>1.20 mg/L) and control group (≤1.20 mg/L) on the basis of the fluoride concentrations in drinking water. Of the 221 subjects in the DWEF group, with 1.47 ± 0.25 mg/L (fluoride concentrations in drinking water), the prevalence rates of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism were 38.5 % (95 % confidence interval [CI] = 32.1-45.3), 19.9 % (95 % CI = 15-26), and 41.6 % (95 % CI = 35.1-48.4), respectively. Of the 1194 subjects in the control group with 0.20 ± 0.18 mg/L, the prevalence of myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism were 31.5 % (95 % CI = 28.9-34.2), 27.6 % (95 % CI = 25.1-30.3), and 45.6 % (95 % CI = 42.8-48.5), respectively. A statistically significant difference was not observed in the association of spherical equivalent and fluoride concentrations in drinking water (P = 0.84 > 0.05). This report provides the data of the refractive state of the residents consuming drinking water with excess amounts of fluoride in northern China. The refractive errors did not result from ingestion of mild excess amounts of fluoride in the drinking water.

Tea Drinking a Significant Source of Fluoride Intake, Ireland

Waugh DT, Potter W, Limeback H, Godfrey M. Risk Assessment of Fluoride Intake from Tea in the Republic of Ireland and its Implications for Public Health and Water Fluoridation. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2016 Feb 26;13(3). pii: E259. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13030259.

The Republic of Ireland (RoI) is the only European Country with a mandatory national legislation requiring artificial fluoridation of drinking water and has the highest per capita consumption of black tea in the world. Tea is a hyperaccumulator of fluoride and chronic fluoride intake is associated with multiple negative health outcomes. In this study, fifty four brands of the commercially available black tea bag products were purchased and the fluoride level in tea infusions tested by an ion-selective electrode method. The fluoride content in all brands tested ranged from 1.6 to 6.1 mg/L, with a mean value of 3.3 mg/L. According to our risk assessment it is evident that the general population in the RoI is at a high risk of chronic fluoride exposure and associated adverse health effects based on established reference values. We conclude that the culture of habitual tea drinking in the RoI indicates that the total cumulative dietary fluoride intake in the general population could readily exceed the levels known to cause chronic fluoride intoxication. Evidence suggests that excessive fluoride intake may be contributing to a wide range of adverse health effects. Therefore from a public health perspective, it would seem prudent and sensible that risk reduction measures be implemented to reduce the total body burden of fluoride in the population.

Ms. Hillary Clinton, was it the video that made you do it? Remember the video?


“U.S. spy agencies have told Congress that Hillary Clinton’s home computer server contained some emails that should have been treated as “top secret” because their wording matched sections of some of the government’s most highly classified documents, four sources familiar with the agency reports said.” click here

A Survey of Nitrosamines in Drinking Water of China

Wang W, Yu J, An W, Yang M. Occurrence and profiling of multiple nitrosamines in source water and drinking water of China. The Science of the Total Environment. 2016 Feb 17;551-552:489-495. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.01.175.

The occurrence of multiple nitrosamines was investigated in 54 drinking water treatment plants (DWTPs) from 30 cities across major watersheds of China, and the formation potential (FP) and cancer risk of the dominant nitrosamines were studied for profiling purposes. The results showed that N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) and N-nitrosodi-n-butylamine (NDBA) were the most abundant in DWTPs, and the concentrations in source water and finished water samples were not detected (ND) -53.6ng/L (NDMA), ND -68.5ng/L (NDEA), ND -48.2ng/L (NDBA). The frequencies of detection in source waters were 64.8%, 61.1% and 51.8%, and 57.4%, 53.7%, and 37% for finished waters, respectively. Further study indicated that the FPs of the three main nitrosamines during chloramination were higher than those during chlorination and in drinking water. The results of Principal Components Analysis (PCA) showed that ammonia was the most closely associated factor in nitrosamine formation in the investigated source water; however, there was no significant correlation between nitrosamine-FPs and the values of dominant water-quality parameters. The advanced treatment units (i.e., ozonation and biological activated carbon) used in DWTPs were able to control the nitrosamine-FPs effectively after disinfection. The target pollutants posed median and maximum cancer risks of 2.99×10-5 and 35.5×10-5 to the local populations due to their occurrence in drinking water.

Formation of Organic Chloramines in Drinking Water

How ZT, Linge KL, Busetti F, Joll CA. Organic chloramines in drinking water: An assessment of formation, stability, reactivity and risk. Water Research 2016 Feb 11;93:65-73. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.02.006.

Although organic chloramines are known to form during the disinfection of drinking water with chlorine, little information is currently available on their occurrence or toxicity. In a recent in vitro study, some organic chloramines (e.g. N-chloroglycine) were found to be cytotoxic and genotoxic even at micromolar concentrations. In this paper, the formation and stability of 21 different organic chloramines, from chlorination of simple amines and amino acids, were studied, and the competition between 20 amino acids during chlorination was also investigated. For comparison, chlorination of two amides was also conducted. The formation and degradation of selected organic chloramines were measured using either direct UV spectroscopic or colorimetric detection. Although cysteine, methionine and tryptophan were the most reactive amino acids towards chlorination, they did not form organic chloramines at the chlorine to precursor molar ratios that were tested. Only 6 out of the 21 organic chloramines formed had a half-life of more than 3 h, although this group included all organic chloramines formed from amines. A health risk assessment relating stability and reactivity data from this study to toxicity and precursor abundance data from the literature indicated that only N-chloroglycine is likely to be of concern due to its stability, toxicity and abundance in water. However, given the stability of organic chloramines formed from amines, more information about the toxicity and precursor abundance for these chloramines is desirable.