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Utica man wants fluoride removed from city's drinking water

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - 28 year old Ross Quinn is a lifelong resident of Utica.

He wasn't born yet when Utica residents voted in favor of adding fluoride to the city's drinking water back in the 1960's but now wants to try and get it removed.

Quinn says he has seen numerous studies on the internet, along with a number of organizations that all say a particular type of fluoride that is added to the drinking water in municipalities across the country has been known to cause health problems.

That type of fluoride is known as hydrofluorocilic acid.

Quinn says there are a number of reasons he has decided to speak out.

"Because no one else is," he said. "Because what happens is, being quiet is basically giving consent. Your silence is their consent. Also, I've got a young child, I've got a family, I drink a lot of water myself. I do body building and I need to take in two three gallons of water a day."

Quinn says he has researched hydrofluorocilic acid.

"It is a bio-accumulative chemical, which means it collects in your body over time, which can lead to fluorosis of the bones, making them brittle, increases in fractures, also problems with the thyroid," Quinn said.

Oneida County Health Department officials say there is no danger to area residents, because of the very low levels of the hydrofluorocilic acid added to the drinking water by the Mohawk Valley Water Authority.

The Health Department's Environmental Director Dan Gilmore says fluoridation is a treatment advocated by the American Dental Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Health Department.

Meanwhile, Mohawk Valley Water Authority Water Quality Director Connie Schreppel says fluoridation has been used for many years and she says used safely.

"There's different types of fluoride that you can feed, but they're all what they call NSF Certified, which is National Science Foundation, and you cannot feed anything into water unless it's recognized by the National Science Foundation," Schreppel.

Schreppel says she understands there is a lot of good information for people to read on the internet, but she adds, "I think there's a lot of misinformation out there. Most of the information, if you go and look through the Health Department websites or portals, you will see that it is safe and it is beneficial."

Quinn says he doesn't believe the agencies are telling the truth, that there really is a danger and he is urging other area residents to contact him to help form a group that he hopes will circulate petitions to eventually get the fluoride issue back up for another vote, this time to remove it from the water.

Gilmore says he is actually glad to hear that residents like Ross Quinn are interested in what government agencies do.

"That's a valuable service to have watchdog organizations," Gilmore said. "I wouldn't discourage people from questioning things like that, but as far as an issue locally, with fluoridation in the water, the water that we have delivered to us is safe."

Quinn is asking any local residents who are interested in the fluoride issue to contact him by email at uticacaf@yahoo.com

He says "uticacaf" stands for Utica Citizens Against Fluoride.

Here are some links to government agencies with information about fluoride :

Other links with information on water and fluoride:

*EPA - Water

*CDC - Water

*NYS Department of Health

*ADA - Fluoride

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