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Fight For Zero

Fluoride in the City of Melbourne's Drinking Water



Melbourne, Florida, began fluoridating drinking water in 1966 and has repeatedly voted in favor of fluoridating their drinking water. Unlike pharmaceutical-grade fluoride in toothpaste, the fluoride in your water is an untreated industrial waste produced by the phosphate industry called hydrofluorosilicic acid.

Fluorosilicic acid is composed of tetrafluorosiliciate gas and other fluorine gas species captured in pollution scrubbers and concentrated into 23% solution during wet process phosphate fertilizer manufacture. Generally, the acid is stored in outdoor cooling ponds before being shipped to United States cities to fluoridate drinking water artificially.

Three out of four Americans are drinking water with added fluoride. The medicinal use of fluorides in community water supplies to prevent dental decay began in January 1945. When fluoridation began, toothpaste and other products did not exist.

The first fluoride-containing toothpaste, Crest, was launched in 1955. Then on August 1, 1960, the American Dental Association (ADA) reported that "Crest has been shown to be an effective decay preventative of significant value when used."

The Environmental Protection Agencies' drinking water standard differs from the Department of Health and Human Service's recommended optimal fluoridation level because the two benchmarks have different purposes and are set under different authorities.

The U.S. government recreated its recommended level of fluoride in drinking water for the first time in a half-century in 2015 to prevent staining of tooth enamel caused by overexposure to fluoride.

41% of children in the United States, where water has been fluoridated have varying degrees of dental fluorosis. According to the Environmental Health Perspective, dental fluorosis in the United States has increased during the last 30 years.

The EPA concluded that some children are exposed to too much fluoride occasionally while their teeth are forming because of their high fluid intake relative to their body weight. The Academy of Medical Sciences shows that adults retain around 36% of fluoride, while children retain approximately 50% of fluoride, and 99% of that is contained in mineralized tissues (bone and teeth), with 1% found in soft tissue.

Executive Director of Fight For Zero, Stel Bailey, spoke at the City of Melbourne meeting to favor the citizen's initiative to remove fluoride from their drinking water.

Fluoridation is not required by the EPA, which is prohibited by the Safe Drinking Water Act from requiring the addition of any substance to drinking water for preventative health care purposes.

Bailey asks, "What is stopping municipalities from adding other chemicals for preventative health care purposes?" In 2020 scientists suggested that lithium be added to the drinking water supply to prevent suicides. "The medical definition of informed consent is the process of communication between a physician and a patient that results in the patient's authorization or agreement to undergo a specific medical intervention. Yet, informed consent was never an option for those in the community who do not choose to have fluoride treatments. The government's only role in drinking water should be to ensure it's clean. Adding hydrofluorosilicic acid is an ethical issue that doesn't allow communities' the right to choose, which is why many are now asking their local governments to remove the fluoride from their drinking water supply."
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A few things we wanted to relay back to the public that we noted during this meeting:

1. Two of those votes to keep fluoride in the water were based on the fact that the Department of Defense put out a memo saying they supported fluoride and use it at all military bases. With that in mind, two council members felt that sufficient enough to keep fluoridating the community. Furthermore, it was stated that the military does not harm its own.

We did a follow-up email after the meeting:

Dear Mayor and Council Members,

Ending the fluoride discussion on November 26, 2019, the U.S. Department of Defense was mentioned. While we respect the decision made, we are concerned that it was based on erroneous facts regarding the military and bases never harming their own. The military is one of the country’s largest polluters, and it’s no surprise that the military produces dangerous waste, whether its ammunition components, unexploded ordinance or paints, and thinners. Agent Orange, Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit, Gulf War, Ionizing Radiation, Toxic Embedded Fragments, and contaminated drinking water are just a few of the toxic exposures men and women who serve are exposed to. As a family readiness volunteer and an advocate who works with other organizations across the nation advocating for health registries for veterans who had exposure to certain environmental hazards, I feel it’s important to share examples of chemicals approved for use by the Department of Defense and later found to be harmful. We know that the fluoride removal will not be voted on again, but we will continue to acknowledge the community's right to choose to have chemicals removed that are not in the water supply for purposes other than water purification.


2. A state employee of the Department of Health from Tallahassee displayed unprofessional and appalling behavior throughout the meeting. Sent as a representative for children, she was heard mocking and laughing at a 15-year old who came to speak against fluoride in his water.

3. A large portion of professional dentists who showed up to the meeting can be heard laughing, groaning, and making fun of anyone who spoke in opposition to adding 
hydrofluorosilicic acid to the water system.

4. Johnny Johnson is a fluoridation lobbyist in Florida who misleads legislators and the media when he claims that people want to stop fluoridation based on political will or scare tactics. He also donated to the political campaigns for a select few on the City of Melbourne's council who voted against removing the fluoride.

5. Fight for Zero is not anti-fluoride; however, we are against adding hydrofluorosilicic acid or anything that doesn't clean the drinking water. There is a difference between medical-grade fluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid, and that seems to be missed by the vast majority of pro-fluoride presenters. Fight For Zero supports the community's right to choose. We encourage civic engagement, and all of those who clean drinking water free from added chemicals should continue to write to their representatives and voice their concerns.

Fluoride lobbyist Johnny Johnson with a representative of the Department of Health

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