It comes as a surprise to many people when they discover
that the chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water
are not pharmaceutical grade

Paul Connett 3
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Dear Editor,

Fraser Mitcham is splitting chemical hairs when he says that “sodium fluorosilicic acid” does not exist. The correct name is sodium fluorosilicate, the salt formed when fluorosilicic acid is neutralized with sodium hydroxide. The “ate” ending is introduced when a salt is formed from the parent acid.  However, more disturbing is Micham’s willingness to continue to propagate the Victorian Department of Human Services “spin” on the source of the fluoridating chemicals used in fluoridation schemes.  What follows is a shortened version of what will appear in a book I have co-authored which will be published in October 2010, “The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep it There.” (Connett, Beck and Micklem, Chelsea Green Publishers).

It comes as a surprise to many people when they discover that the chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are not pharmaceutical grade, meaning that they are not of the same purity used in dental products. Instead, the bulk of the chemicals used today come from the wet scrubbing systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry.

The wet scrubbers were introduced into the phosphate manufacturing process in order to remove two highly toxic gases: hydrogen fluoride (HF) and silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4). For many years these gases had damaged vegetation in the vicinity of the phosphate plants as well as crippling cattle on local farms. Fortunately, a spray of water is able to capture these gases and convert them into a solution of hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). When this resulting solution has reached a concentration of about 23% it is shipped untreated in large tanker trucks to chemical companies. These companies then send the solution (still untreated) to communities to fluoridate their water.However, agencies that continue to promote fluoridation  – despite the fact that there is little genuine scientific evidence that swallowing fluoride actually reduces tooth decay, and the growing evidence that there is no margin of safety sufficient to protect everyone drinking fluoridated water from known harmful effects – have gone to tortuous lengths to calm the public on the use of hazardous waste for this purpose. One example comes from the Victorian Department of Human Services, which states that: ”Fluoride is not a waste product of the fertiliser manufacturing process, but rather, a co-product. If fluoride is not actively collected during the refining process for water fluoridation purposes, it remains in the phosphate fertiliser. However, due to the widespread practice of water fluoridation in Australia, fluoride is commonly extracted during the refining process.”Maybe this “health” agency is happier using the word co-product rather than a hazardous by-product, but the simple truth, as indicated above, is that the captured gases (hydrogen fluoride and silicon fluoride) are very toxic and did enormous damage to crops and cattle surrounding phosphate fertilizer plants for about 100 years before the industry was forced to put on wet scrubbers to capture these “co-products.” Substances that cause damage to plants, animals or humans are called “pollutants.” Nor, as this fluoridation-promoting “health” agency claims, will these captured gases magically remain in the phosphate fertilizer if they were not scrubbed from the air emissions. These claims are chemical and historical nonsense.

Paul Connett,

PhD, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Chemistry,
St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617
Director, Fluoride Action Network, <>