a team of scientists from American University calculated overall social costs to the U.S. of using two principal fluoridation chemicals: $1.143 billion per year for industrial grade hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) and $132 million per year for pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride (NaF). Social costs included material costs of the agents themselves and costs for treatment of lung and bladder cancers that are expected due to ingestion of arsenic that occurs as a contaminant in fluoridation chemicals.
HFSA is cheaper but contains significant amounts of arsenic. HFSA is also highly corrosive, so it leaches lead from plumbing. Pharmaceutical grade NaF is more expensive, but has a much lower arsenic content. Also, since it is not corrosive, it does not contribute to increased lead levels in drinking water. The EPA has a health-based drinking water standard of zero for both arsenic and lead, which means there is no “safe” level of exposure to these heavy metals. Researchers calculated the amount of arsenic each agent delivered to fluoridated water systems and estimated the number of lung and bladder cancer cases associated with each agent. They found cancer treatment costs of $1.143 billion dollars per year with HFSA as the principal fluoridating agent as compared to $12 million per year with NaF. HFSA had annual fluoridation costs of $23 million per year and NaF had annual fluoridation costs of $120 million per year.
Information below was taken directly from
Water fluoridation programs in the United States and other countries which have them use either sodium fluoride (NaF), hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) or the sodium salt of that acid (NaSF), all technical grade chemicals to adjust the fluoride level in drinking water to about 0.7-1 mg/L. In this paper we estimate the comparative overall cost for U.S. society between using cheaper industrial grade HFSA as the principal fluoridating agent versus using more costly pharmaceutical grade (U.S. Pharmacopeia – USP) NaF. USP NaF is used in toothpaste. HFSA, a liquid, contains significant amounts of arsenic (As). HFSA and NaSF have been shown to leach lead (Pb) from water delivery plumbing, while NaF has been shown not to do so. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health-based drinking water standards for As and Pb are zero. Our focus was on comparing the social costs associated with the difference in numbers of cancer cases arising from As during use of HFSA as fluoridating agent versus substitution of USP grade NaF. We calculated the amount of As delivered to fluoridated water systems using each agent, and used EPA Unit Risk values for As to estimate the number of lung and bladder cancer cases associated with each. We used cost of cancer cases published by EPA to estimate cost of treating lung and bladder cancer cases. Commercial prices of HFSA and USP NaF were used to compare costs of using each to fluoridate. We then compared the total cost to our society for the use of HFSA versus USP NaF as fluoridating agent. The U.S. could save $1 billion to more than $5 billion/year by using USP NaF in place of HFSA while simultaneously mitigating the pain and suffering of citizens that result from use of the technical grade fluoridating agents. Other countries, such as Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and Australia that use technical grade fluoridating agents may realize similar benefits by making this change. Policy makers would have to confront the uneven distribution of costs and benefits across societies if this change were made.
► Arsenic in current H2O fluoridating agents causes significant cancer treatment costs. ► Arsenic in USP NaF would result in 100-500-fold fewer cancers. ► USP NaF costs about 12 times as much as current fluoridating agents. ► U.S. savings as a society using USP NaF would be $1-5 billion annually. ► Costs and savings are not distributed evenly throughout society.
Fluoride; Arsenic; Cancer; Fluoridation; Cost-benefit analysis
PLEASE take the time for your voice to be heard. Call, fax, or email the senators below ASAP and ask them to support accountability, full disclosure, and transparency of the raw fluoridation product that will affect us all.
Vote DO PASS on SB255!
The Arkansas Water Additive Accountability bill will be heard in the Senate
Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee on March 20, 2013.
SENATE PUBLIC HEALTH, WELFARE, AND LABOR COMMITTEE, 2013
[email protected] (Chair)
[email protected] (vice chair)
[email protected] (vice chair)
Cecile Bledsoe, Chair, and Paul Bookout, Vice Chair
(R) Senator Cecile Bledsoe, Dist. 3
709 Sky Mountain Dr., Rogers, 72757
(D) Senator Paul Bookout, Dist. 21
3806 Pebble Beach Drive, Jonesboro, 72404
(D) Senator Linda Chesterfield, Dist. 30
12 Keo Drive, Little Rock, 72206
(D) Senator Stephanie Flowers, Dist. 25
104 Main St., Suite C, Pine Bluff, 71601
(D) Senator David Burnett, Dist. 22
306 Hale, Osceola, 72730
(R) Missy Irvin, Dist. 18
P. O. Box 106, Mountain View, 72560
(R) Jonathan Dismang, Dist. 28
P. O. Box 475, Beebe, 72012
(R) Senator Ronald Caldwell, Dist. 23
2490 Highway 284, Wynne, 72396
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