Fluoride Chemicals Leach Lead Into Water Supplies
24 May 2005
Fluoride chemicals, combined with other water additives, pull health-damaging
lead from plumbing systems into drinking water, according to University of
North Carolina researchers reported a North Carolina newspaper on May 18, 2005
(a). Fluoride is added to water supplies to prevent cavities, not purify it as
A combination of chloramines and fluorosilicic acid, especially with extra
amounts of ammonia, leaches lead from meters, solder and plumbing systems,
according to Richard P. Maas, PhD and Steven C. Patch PhD, co-directors of the
Environmental Quality Institute at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.
Chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, is a water supply
disinfectant. Fluorosilicic acid, the chemical used by over 91% of U.S. fluoridating
communities, attempts to improve dental health in those who drink it About 2/3
of U.S. public water supplies are fluoridated but tooth decay remains a
national epidemic, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. (b)
Maas said, “Tests showed lead levels three and four times higher in water
with that combination of chemicals …About 500 systems, across the country, have
switched to chloramine treatment since 2001…and most also use fluorosilicic
acid,” according to the North Carolina newspaper, the News & Observer.
Maas said this chemical interaction could be responsible for the elevated
lead levels recently plaguing Greenville, North Carolina (c). Health authorities
issued a lead advisory for water from the Greenville Utilities Commission when
elevated lead levels showed up in 26 of 106 sampled homes.
Water leaving the plant and its distribution lines do not contain lead. But
testing showed two children with harmful lead levels, leading health officials
to speculate that corrosion of pipes within the home may be the cause.
Greenville authorities warned pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under age
six to avoid the tap water until it is tested for lead.
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