The Fluoride Plebiscite

At risk of attracting tons of anti-fluoride comments, I feel I must give some info about the Fluoride Plebiscite for the 2010 Municipal Election in Waterloo.

The City of Waterloo has had several plebiscites over the years asking if the people still want to continue the fluoridation of the water. The last referendum was in the 1980s when the constituents said they wanted to continue with fluoridation.

The question came up again in the last few years with concerns from some citizens about fluoride. The City of Waterloo asked the Region of Waterloo which now looks after adding fluoride to the city’s water to have a plebiscite on the fluoride issue. (Yeah, I know, our two levels of government can be complicated if you don’t live with it!)

The answer to the question is for the people of Waterloo, Elmira, St. Jacobs and a small part of the Townships and small part of Kitchener to decide.

Here is the Region report on the question:

The question, which will be passed on Wednesday, will then go for review by the province  then be included on the 2010 Municipal election ballot. It will say:

“Should the Region of Waterloo fluoridate your municipal water?

Yes or No”


Because we are following the Municipal Act and the answer will be for the public to decide, there will be no more delegations allowed at Region on this topic until after October 25, election day, once the motion is passed on Wednesday. Those for or against must sign up like candidates to give out information on the topic. They may then have brochures, websites, door to door, forums like a candidate. Only the polls where the water is fluoridated will get the ballot question.

Regional council passed a special resolution saying that even if the voter turnout is under 50% , a requirement for passage under the Municipal Act (Hasn’t been anywhere near that yet), we will abide by the results of the plebiscite. The flouride will be turned off or kept on by the present council as the cost of turning it off is below the monetary number needed to forbid a “lame duck” council from acting. In other words, this council, not the next elected one will decide.

I have several reasons for supporting the present wording.
Using the word “fluoridate”:
The delegations want the use of the word, “hydrofluorosilicic acid”(HFSA) the compound presently used to fluoridate the City of Waterloo’s water. The problem is, there are several different forms of fluoride used to treat water. There are various kinds of compounds. The City of Brantford uses a  dry form of fluoride with a different name. There is also sodium fluoride that is added to water. From the presentation of a delegation, curiously for using the words HFSA in the question, here are some of the names used for compounds of fluoride:


Dihydrogen hexafluorosilicate, FKS, Fluorosilicic Acid [H2SiF6],Fluosilicic acid (6CI), Hexafluorosilicic acid, Hexafluorosilicate (2-),dihydrogen,Hexafluosilicic acid, Hydrofluorosilicic acid, Hydrogen hexafluorosilicate,Hydrogen hexafluorosilicic, Hydrosilicofluoric acid, Sand acid,Silicate (2-), hexafluoro-, dihydrogen (8CI, 9CI), Silicic acid [H2SiF6],Silicofluoric acid, Silicofluoride, Silicon hexafluoride dihydride, UN1778

If HFSA was rejected by the public, Council could say “Well then, we’ll use this other form.”  Robert Fleming in his presentation noted he was just as against the other form used in Brantford. Sodium Fluoride is full of salt. Calcium fluoride, the natural form of fluoridation that is found in Cambridge is very expensive and difficult to add.

The second reason I want “fluoridate” is that two to three years ago when people first began to approach me about this issue, they were against fluoride generally. In fact, at our meeting, two people came forward with concerns about fluoride generally. One was a woman concerned it made her illness worse and I have heard this concern from several people about several different illnesses.

Her husband feels a rash was caused by fluoride, so that is why I support using “municipal” instead of “drinking” in the wording. Bathing, brushing teeth and washing clothes have all been brought forward as concerns.

By the way, for those of you who feel fluoride is a good public health measure that prevents cavities and does not cause other problems, I am not necessarily agreeing with the delegations, just pointing out concerns raised.

Finally, I do not agree with putting that Waterloo water contains, “lead, arsenic, mercury, or  that the water is radioactive” on the ballot question. It biases the question. Also lead occurs in small amounts in water when pipes are old. Waterloo water is tested for purity and is double and triple checked by the province since the Walkerton scandal and  the water is shut down when any problem occurs. Any arsenic is a trace amount, that means it is so small that the amount is negligable. Do you really think that Public Health, Regional staff and your elected councillors are poisoning your water?

Links Minutes of public meetings on fluoridation and handouts. (I love how open the Region is with information!)  Public Health Fact Sheet on fluoride. Public Health is at arms length from the Region on health issues. They will not be participating in the debate.  Water quality reports.


One response to “The Fluoride Plebiscite

  1. Fluoride purchased from China and used in the U.S. and possibly Canada contains 0.032% Lead

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