What are Effects of Fluoride in Rotorua’s Town Water Supply?

By Alan Simmons



The Rotorua Council is considering a directive from the Health Department to add fluoride to Rotorua’s water supply. 
Some Councillors and many of the public are opposing this. 
As councils countrywide ramp up the addition of highly toxic fluoride into town water supplies to comply with a directive of the Director General of health, there seems to be very little known about the toxicity on the biota of the lake and saltwater environment to the run off water which the toxic poison is discharged into.  The Fluoride is seen to be good for preventing tooth decay (many studies contradict that thinking)  however it becomes mass medication of the population without their consent when it is added to their drinking water and many people go to extraordinary efforts to fill containers of non fluoridated water for drinking purposes from known wells and springs. 
The compulsory addition of a serious poison to town water supplies ignores the simple fact that most of the water is not consumed by the population but finds its way into wherever it is discharged by way of showering, car washing, hosing gardens and so on. 
If the discharge of the town water supply is into a lake system then the chances of a fluoride buildup in the biota is possible and untested.  Also the uptake into home grown food watered with fluoridated water. In the case of Rotorua while the sewage is treated and then sprayed onto the forest all storm water and run off is discharged directly into Lake Rotorua.  It would also be interesting to see if the poison fluoride survives the treatment plant before being discharged onto the land to eventfully end up in a river, stream or lake, There is evidence that waste treatment actually concentrates fluoride. 
Chlorine Effects
We know from studies done in 1970 (undertaken by David Pike Field officer and Hatchery Manager of the Wellington Acclimatisation Society) of the deadly effects of chlorine in town water discharges into clean water river systems at extremely low doses and I would suggest similar effects are likely from fluoride. 
The fluoride added to town water is a waste product from the fertiliser industry and also contains a number of other deadly chemicals namely, arsenic and lead …. This waste product accumulates in the body and while low doses do not seem to manifest in medical symptoms of a mass scale some people are very susceptible and they avoid “fluoride tap” water in an attempt to stay well. 
If chlorine at low doses discharged into a clean river kills trout then it stands to reason that fluoride could also have an effect on trout populations especially in a lake system where the fluoride can accumulate in both those species that live in the lake and through their food chain all living in that same environment. 
Utah Studies
Studies done in 1961 by researchers at the Utah State university showed that fluoride killed rainbow trout at a level of 2-4 ppm and as the amount of fluoride in the environment raises, the risk grows. Since then in the Rotorua region the use of fertilizer has grown dramatically and as fluoride is a component of the fertilizer that is top dressed all over the farmlands thus increasing the base levels before the Council even begin to add to that.  There is also the matter of the volcanic soils of the region adding to the risk of excessive fluorine in the lake water. The biology for trout is such that in freshwater they take up salt and fluoride follows accumulating via the skin whereas in a saltwater environment they expel it via the gills. As the temperature rises they become more and more susceptible to death from fluoride. The same applies to the invertebrates that are the food source of the trout and they are even more susceptible to the effects of fluoride at an even lower level.
It would be an interesting exercise to test a trout that has been living in a fluoridated lake to establish the safe levels as well as the invertebrates that are the prime food source such as koura and caddis.  At this stage fluoride is not added to the Rotorua town water supply but the council have received a directive from the Health department to add it. Some councils around the country are fighting this and have now had the deadlines extended. 
Eastern Fish and Game need to express concern at the unknown effects on the trout of this deadly and toxic poison being proposed for release into the water by indicating to the Rotorua council the possible effects of fluoridation on the iconic Rotorua trout fishery, the loss of which could cause severe economic hardship for the wider  region.  
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5 Responses to What are Effects of Fluoride in Rotorua’s Town Water Supply?

  1. Karl Lorenz says:

    Where is Fish and Game and the Department if Conservation on this? They should both be standing up. I remember David Pike’s brilliant wee chlorine study. But I suspect it’s just gathered dust on some back shelf.
    Good work by Alan Simmons, a true crusader.

  2. Peter says:

    Great work by Simmons, we need more like him

  3. Ben Hope says:

    Why impose fluoride on everyone? For those who want to use fluoride toothpaste!
    Freedom of choice.
    Now, evidence is mounting that with fluoridated toothpastes and other consumer products that boost dental health, the potential risks from consuming fluoridated water may outweigh the benefits for some individuals. Several years ago aware of this, the U.S. Public Health Service lowered its recommended levels of fluoride in drinking water.
    Yes Eastern fish and Game should be onto this.

  4. J B Smith says:

    Reading Alan Simmon’s opinion piece in the US at Utah they did a study. David Pike’s chlorine study at Wellington acclimatisation hatchery was simple enough, so why can’t Eastern Fish and Game do a similar study at its hatchery on fluoride?
    In any case, there seems no doubt there is toxicity. A 2003 study in US said “Freshwater invertebrates and fishes, especially net-spinning caddisfly larvae and upstream-migrating adult salmons, appear to be more sensitive to fluoride toxicity than estuarine and marine animals.”

  5. E Dann says:

    It’s so easily sorted by fish and game running an experiment by exposing some rainbows to fluoride..this has a potential to impact trout dramatically..Lake Rotorua is very vulnerable being shallow..

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