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City removes fluoride from water

Karen Gleason / Del Rio News-Herald | September 14 2006

Fluoride will no longer be added to Del Rio’s drinking water.

The Del Rio City Council made that decision Tuesday night after a presentation by John Morony, a retired college biology professor, who characterized fluoride as a poison and showed the council numerous research references that link fluoride to higher rates of cancer and other health hazards.

Following Morony’s presentation and a brief discussion by the council, Councilman Pat Cole said, “I make the motion that we cease immediately adding fluoride to our beautiful San Felipe Springs water.”

In his letter to the city requesting time to address the council, Morony recommended “that Del Rio cease fluoridating its water supply.”

Morony in his letter noted that in the U.S., more than 70 communities have stopped adding fluoride to their water.

He also pointed out that most European countries, Japan and China do not add fluoride to their water supplies.

“Why? Basically for two reasons: fluoridated water cannot be shown to significantly reduce dental caries (tooth decay) and it has proved to be far more toxic than previously thought,” Morony wrote.

Morony during Tuesday night’s meeting also presented the council with a paper titled “Scientific Facts on the Biological Effects of Fluorides.”

The paper listed research references linking fluoride to a variety of medical problems, including the development of bone cancer and premature aging.

The paper stated, “Fluoride consumption by human beings increases the general cancer death rate.”

Morony noted that although some fluoride occurs naturally in all water, the fluoride being added to the city’s water supply “is a waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry.”

“I’m just trying to get the fluoride out of our water,” Morony told the council.

At the end of Morony’s presentation, Cole asked him, “So let me clarify: if we continue adding fluoride, we are putting in our water a byproduct of the fertilizer industry?”

“That’s right,” Morony said.

Councilman Mike Wrob asked, “At what point did we start putting fluoride in our water?”

City administrators asked Mitch Lomas, manager of the city’s water treatment plant, to answer Wrob’s question.

“We started fluoridating in 1990 as a result of a decision by the city council,” Lomas replied.

“At the time we did not have all the information about fluoride that we do now,” he added.

Wrob then asked Lomas to give the council his opinion of adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water, a question Lomas did not answer directly.

Mayor Efrain Valdez noted that the city spends about $20,000 a year buying the fluoride to add to the city water.

Cole asked Lomas, “How do employees at the water plant feel about handling fluoride?”

“It’s a very corrosive chemical. It eats through concrete and metal. When they handle it, they have to wear respirators and chemical-proof suits,” Lomas said.

“But how do they feel about handling it?” Cole asked.

“They really would rather not handle it,” Lomas replied.

Cole then made her motion to cease fluoridation of the city’s water, with Wrob giving the second.

After the council had voted unanimously to approve Cole’s motion, Morony told the News-Herald as he had left the council chambers, “The council’s decision is very gratifying. Now we can go back to drinking Del Rio water.”

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