Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Jersey versus General Ripper

I realize that this is going to push me on wrong side of the angels, but really, folks, take a good hard look at the wheels before jumping on any bandwagon.
Even a stopped clock is right twice a year.
Yep, a reprint, but New Jersey's under attack by do-gooding, mean-welling folk who need to find a new hobby, 

A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

General Jack D. Ripper
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Ah, March madness.

I recently suggested that beer in moderation may be better for my health than milk. My first responder, Mr. Anonymous, lumped me together with "the anti-vaxxers, & anti-fluorides."

OK, I confess--I oppose fluoridation of my local water supplies.

Please read that carefully. I am not opposed to the use of medical grade fluoride applied by a dentist. I am not opposed to prescribing medical grade fluoride for use by a child so long as an adult in the home can carefully follow directions.

I do, however, oppose fluoridation of the water that comes out of my tap, especially if the fluoride used comes from industrial waste.

In regard to the use of fluosilicic (fluorosilicic) acid as a source of fluoride for fluoridation, this agency regards such use as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized, and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.

Rebecca Hanmer, 1983
Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, EPA, back then

I'm sure Ms. Hanmer is a decent person. She's the former director of the Chesapeake Bay Program, she's won the President’s Distinguished Federal Executive Award, and she's a wonderful advocate for clean water.

Still, she advocated putting industrial waste into my water supply. That's the way it was done a quarter century ago. That's the way it's done today.

Florida has a few lucrative industries, and not all of them are Mickey Mouse. Florida produces tons of phosphate fertilizer. It also produces tons of hazardous waste. Fluorosilicic acid, a mixture of waste products from pollution scrubbers used during the processing of phosphate fertilizer, is shipped all over the country.*

Yes, it's diluted over 100,000 times when used for fluoridation. Yes, it helps prevent dental cavities.

No, I don't want my government deliberately dumping toxic waste into my water supply.

No, really.

And it's not just because I own a tinfoil hat.

*Yes, you can buy this stuff--Lucier Chemical Industries will sell it to your town. Yes, it's Lucier, not Lucifer.


Kurt said...

This sounds similar to arguments opposing the production of potable water from sewer water using water treatment plants or claims that water from certain streams has special healing powers. Water is water, no matter its source, and fluoride ions are fluoride ions. We recycle metal and compost organic waste - why not reuse atoms, too?

Kurt said...

By the way, I really like your blog and the thoughtfulness of your comments to posters (such as in the "Mr. Anonymous" case) and your thoughts on teaching ("The children spray themselves with Axe, yet shy from the pond water and the mud brought in from outside."). Good stuff! I teach AP science classes, so I think I understand the frustration of content-driven courses.

doyle said...

Dear Kurt,

First, thanks for the warm words.

I agree water is water--and that's exactly what I'd like to see coming out of my tap.

And I agree ions are ions, but ions always come with partners.

I'd much rather drink a glass of 1% NaCl than 1% NaOH. The sodium's the same, true, but the other ion it's dancing with does give me pause.

The industrial waste fluoride has not been recycled to the USP grade fluoride you find in your toothpaste.

(I've written literally thousands of prescriptions for fluoride supplement--I'm not opposed to fluoride per se though even the rx kind has risks.)