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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 
some believe. 

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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