Dear fellow fracktivists,
Yesterday, 3 years after the biggest demonstration on fracking in Bulgaria, the Prime minister Borisov (in his second mandate, after being in opposition for 1 and half year) confirm that his position on fracking is “definitely No”, answering a question from MP in the Bulgarian Parliament. 4 days after that demonstration and 6 months after the begging of the campaign Bulgarian Parliament set a ban on fracking (18.01.2012).
Unfortunately I can’t find an article on English, but you can translate this through google translate:
This position is coming a day before official visit of US secretary John Kerry in Bulgaria and a day after Borisov express the same position in briefing in the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I097467&sitelang=en&videolang=en (The answer related to fracking is in the middle of the briefing)
Here you can watch a video from 14.01.2012 – protest in Sofia. At the same day demonstrations were held in 14 other cities in Bulgaria, as well in Paris, London and Copenhagen.
I’m also attaching a nice picture from that demonstration.
Wish you success in all your fights for fracking free regions and countries.
Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective.” In part 2 I discuss the 6 KEY PAPERS that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.” Or to be more precise – since there is no question that fluoride is very toxic and damages health – we will demonstrate that there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all citizens drinking artificially fluoridated water (and getting fluoride from other sources) from known health effects.
STUDIES ON THE TOXICITY OF FLUORIDE AND SAFETY OF FLUORIDATION
5. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.
A landmark report on the toxicology of fluoride is available to read and search for free online. It is one of the very few reviews of fluoride for which the panel was balanced. It contained both pro and anti-fluoridation scientists. The report concluded that the current U.S. maximum contaminant level for fluoride (4 ppm) in drinking water is an unsafe level for human health. The panel recommended that the EPA conduct a new risk assessment to establish a goal for a safe level of fluoride in drinking water (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, MCLG) and thence a new Federally enforceable standard (or MCL). After over 8 years the EPA has not completed this determination and so for 8 years the US continued to operate under unsafe standards for fluoride in water.
BONE DAMAGE. Among many health concerns the panel noted that fluoride damages the bone and accumulates there with a significantly long half-live. The first symptoms of bone damage are indistinguishable from arthritis and with further accumulation (fluoride’s half life in bone is at least 20 years) it makes the bones more brittle and prone to fracture.
ENDOCRINE DISRUPTER. The panel also concluded that fluoride is an endocrine disrupter. It lowers thyroid function and accumulates in the pineal gland (see paper 6 below).
NEUROTOXICIY. Many animal studies indicate that fluoride can enter and damage the brain via a number of mechanisms. At thetime this review was published only 5 IQ studies were available. Since publication this total has risen dramatically. Including new studies and older Chinese studies that have been translated by FAN, there are now (as of Dec 2014) 49 studies, of which 42 show an association between exposure to fairly modest doses of fluoride and lowered IQ (see papers 7-9 below). For those who want more details of all the animal and human studies on fluoride’s toxicity see FAN’s health database
OSTEOSARCOMA.At the time of publication the NRC panel had been informedbyFAN of a doctoral thesis by Elise Bassin from Harvard, whichindicated an association between exposure to fluoridated water at a critical age range in young boys (6-8 years) and succumbing by the age of 20, to osteosarcoma, a frequently fatal bone cancer. The NRC did not take a definitive position on this study preferring to wait for the study to be published. Bassin’s publication came in May of 2006 (discussed below, see paper 10). However the same edition of the journal also contained a letter from her pro-fluoridation thesis advisor Chester Douglass claiming that his larger study would show that her thesis did not hold. However, he has never published this promised rebuttal of her thesis.
Subsets of US population exceeding EPA’s safe reference dose. While the NRC review did not study fluoridation as such (either its risk or benefits), the authors did provide an exposure analysis (see Chapter 2). The panel showed that several subsets of the population drinking fluoridated water at 1 ppm fluoride (including bottle-fed infants) are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose of 0.06 mg/kg/day (see the diagram on page 85). This finding makes nonsense of the claim by both ADA and the CDC that this very important review was not relevant to water fluoridation.
No margin of safety. Based on this review it is abundantly clear that fluoride damages health and that for several end-points (including lowered IQ), there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals in a large population drinking fluoridated water. This critical conclusion is often lost on promoters of fluoridation who confuse concentration with dose. They simplistically compare the concentration of fluoride in the water of the community examined with the concentration of fluoride in artificially fluoridated water. Such a comparison does not provide a margin of safety. For that one needs two things:
First, one has to ascertain the range of dosesin the fluoridated population. This takes into account how much water citizens drink (which can be very large because there is no control on the amount of water consumed) and how much fluoride they get from other sources.
Second, in order to determine a safe dose (sufficient to protect everyone) one also has to take into account the full range of sensitivity to a toxic substance anticipated in a large population. It is the failure to do this that has been the biggest and most reckless mistake of the fluoridation program since it began and fluoridation promoters today.
6. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland.Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.
Luke showed that fluoride accumulates on the calcified deposits in the human pineal gland and lowers melatonin production in animals. No health agency in any fluoridating country has attempted to repeat Luke’s work despite the fact that melatonin levels have been related to many health problems. For example, Autistic children produce no melatonin.
7. Xiang Q, Liang Y, Chen L, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, Liang Y, Zhou M, and Zang H. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.
Of the 42 (out of 49) studies (as of Dec 2014) that have found a relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ, the Xiang study is one of the most important.
In the Xiang study, the authors controlled for key confounding values such as lead, and iodine (and arsenic retrospectively), parental income and educational status. In addition to comparing the mean IQ of children between the high-fluoride and low-fluoride village (a drop of 5-10 IQ points across the whole age range) they also sub-divided the children in the high-fluoride village into 5 groups with mean fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 4.3 ppm (see Table 8 in their study).
By focusing on one village they eliminated any other environmental differences between the two villages. They found that as the fluoride concentration in the five sub-groups increased two things happened: 1) the mean IQ systematically decreased and 2) the percentage of children with an IQ less than 80 (borderline mentally handicapped) dramatically increased from 0% to 37.5%.
Lowest level where IQlowered. The lowering of IQ is first observed in the sub-group at 1.53 ppm, and bearing in mind the range of fluoride concentration for that sub-group, one has to conservatively assume that some children in this study would have had their IQ lowered at the lower end of the range fluoride concentrations in this group 1.26 ppm.
Such a result leaves absolutely no margin of safety to protect all children in an artificially fluoridated community (fluoride levels between 0.7 to 1.2 ppm) from this serious outcome. Please note there is no margin of safety to protect:
A) Against the full range of exposure, especially when you consider the different amounts of water drunk by children and their exposure to other sources such as toothpaste. It should also be added that in two respects the Chinese children in the Xiang study would have had less exposure to fluoride from two key sources than American children. Children living in rural Chinese villages are less likely to be using fluoridated toothpaste and less likely to be bottle-fed (bottle-fed babies, where the formula is made up with fluoridated water, get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies).
B) Nor does it protect against the full range of sensitivity expected in a large population (as discussed in 5 above).
The last children that need a further lowering of IQ are children from low-income families, whose IQ has already been compromised by so many other factors (e.g. poorer diet, poorer educational opportunities and more exposure to pollution). Yet it is these children who are the primary target of fluoridation programs.
8. Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.
This Meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies was conducted by a team from Harvard including world-famous neuroscientist Philippe Grandjean (an expert on mercury and author of the recent book, “Only One Chance”). This team acknowledged weaknesses in many of the studies but also noted the remarkable consistency of the finding that IQ was lowered in 26 out of the 27 studies reviewed. The average lowering was 7 IQ points, which is substantial, considering that at the population level even an average lowering of one IQ should be avoided.
9. Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study.Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.
This Pilot study in China was carried out at fluoride levels, which overlap levels used in US fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards. Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well on this specific mental development test, than children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellenger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity.
Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean and in an editorial on his website “Chemical Brain Drain”he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. For the children in this study, Grandjean writes:
“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth…Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.” (my emphasis, PC).
10. Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.
This is the only study of osteosarcoma (a frequently fatal bone cancer in children), which studied the age at which exposure to fluoride was experienced. The authors write:
We observed that for males diagnosed before the age of 20 years, fluoride level in drinking water during growth was associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma, demonstrating a peak in the odds ratios from 6 to 8 years of age. All of our models were remarkably robust in showing this effect, which coincides with the mid-childhood growth spurt.
The finding that there may a critical window of vulnerability in young men has never been refuted – or even investigated – since Bassin’s paper was published in 2006. The shocking fact is that with this paper comes the possibility that a few young men each year may be dying from osteosarcoma because they have been exposed to fluoridated water at a critical age. Even though this has not been refuted the practice of fluoridation continues to be pushed by health authorities. Where is the precautionary principle here?
Between them the TEN KEY PAPERS (listed in part 1) invalidate all three claims of the pro-fluoridation mantra.
Fluoridation is not effective.
The largest US study (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990) and the most precise study of children’s tooth decay (Warren et al., 2010) provide little evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay. Featherstone, 2000 (and others) have provided the probable reason for these problematic results. The predominant (if any) benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic. There is no need to swallow fluoride to fight tooth decay and there is no justifiable reason to force people to drink fluoridated water against their will.
Fluoridation is not safe.
There is no disputing the fact that fluoride damages health but what about fluoridation? The landmark 500-page review by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) showed that certain subsets of the US public are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose for fluoride, including bottle-fed infants. The NRC (2006) reviewed many health impacts for which there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals drinking fluoridated water. These include lowered thyroid function, accumulation in the pineal gland (Luke et al., 2001), bone damage, and lowered IQ (Xiang at al, 2003a,b). Xiang found that some children had their IQ lowered at fluoride levels as low as 1.26 ppm. Xiang’ study was one of 42 studies that have found this effect. A Review by a Harvard team (Choi et al, 2012) found an average lowering of 7 IQ points in 26 out of 27 studies. Choi et al, 2015 found learning disabilities in children with very mild fluorosis, which impacts many US children. Thus fluorosis at any level can no longer be considered merely a cosmetic affect. A study by Bassin et al., 2006 has disturbingly shown that some young boys may be losing their lives each year from being exposed to fluoridated water at 1 ppm in their 6th, 7th and 8th years. This study remains unrefuted.
Fluoridation is not cost-effective.
Lo and Thiessen(2014) have demolished the claim by CDC economist Susan Griffin that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 is saved on dental treatment. This claim by Griffin has been used Ad Nauseam by promoters of fluoridation including many state public health officials. Will they continue to do so?
Ten Key Papers that Challenge the Pro-fluoridtion Mantra
Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective” (how many times have unsuspecting legislators been told that for every $1 spent we save $38?). Instead of backing up these claims with any solid scientific evidence, they use a long list of impressive but fairly meaningless (i.e. “science-free”) endorsements. This is not surprising because the science is not there to support the mantra. What is surprising is that public health officials and professional bodies repeat these claims with no sense of embarrassment. I believe that historians will be astounded that so many “respectable” professional associations and health agencies (in the handful of countries that fluoridate) have endorsed a practice, which has such little scientific and no ethical justification. In Orwell’s Animal Farm the pigs rule, in the fluoridated world the sheep rule.
Below is a list of 10 studies (actually nine studies and one review) that invalidate this mantra. Fluoridation is neither effective, nor safe, nor cost-effective. In addition I give a few words about the first four studies that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “effectiveness” and “cost-effectiveness.”
In part 2 of this article, I will say a few words on the papers that pertain to safety.
Part 1. A Listing of the 10 studies
1. Brunelle and Carlos. 1990. Recent Trends in DentalCaries in U.S. Children and the Effect of Water Fluoridation. Journal of Dental Research,69(Special Issue):723-727.
2. Featherstone JD. 2000.The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), Jul; 131(7):887-99.
3. Warren JJ, et al. 2009. Considerations on optimal fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes–a longitudinal study. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 69(2):111-15. Spring.
4. Ko L, Thiessen KM. 2014. A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
5. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland. Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.
6. Xiang Q, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, et al. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.
7. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.
8. Bassin EB, et al. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.
9. Choi AL, Grandjean P, et al. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.
10. Choi AL, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.
A few words about papers 1-4.
STUDIES ON EFFECTIVENESS OF FLUORIDATION
1. Brunelle and Carlos. 1990.Recent Trends in DentalCaries in U.S. Children and the Effect of Water Fluoridation. Journal of Dental Research,69 (Special Issue):723-727.
This was the largest survey of dental decay in children in the US (the authors studied 39,000 children in 84 communities). The study was organized by the pro-fluoridation National Institute for Dental Research (NIDR). These NIDR authors found an average difference of only 0.6 of one tooth surface between children (aged 5-17) who lived all their lives in a fluoridated community compared to a non-fluoridated community (see Table 6). This result was NOT shown to be statistically significant. The pro-fluoridation bias of the authors becomes apparent in the way they present these unimpressive results in their abstract. They do not report the difference in tooth decay as an absolute value (i.e. 0.6 of one tooth surface) but as a relative % difference. This value of 18% looks more impressive than an absolute saving of 0.6 of about 100 tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth (there are 128 when all the teeth have erupted). Nor did the authors admit that they had not shown that this result was statistically significant: it wasn’t! Here is an excerpt from their abstract, which says more about the politics of this issue than the science.
“Children who had always been exposed to community water fluoridation had mean DMFS (decayed missing and filled surfaces, PC) about 18% lower than those who had never lived in a fluoridated communities. When some of the “background” effect of topical fluoride was controlled, this difference increased to 25%. The results suggest that water fluoridation has played a dominant role in the decline in caries and must continue to be a major prevention methodology.” (my emphasis, PC)
2. Featherstone JD. 2000.The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), Jul; 131(7):887-99.
In this article, which was a cover story in JADA edition of July 2000, Featherstone reached the same conclusions that many prominent dental researchers had reached over the previous 20 years: Namely, that the predominant mechanism of fluoride’s beneficial action is topical not systemic. The CDC acknowledged the same thing in 1999. In other words you don’t have to swallow fluoride to protect your teeth and therefore there is no need to force it on people who don’t want it via their drinking water. This is probably one of the reasons why, according to the World Health Organizations data online, that tooth decay rates in 12-year-olds have been declining at about the same rates in non-fluoridated as in fluoridated countries since the 1960s (http://fluoridealert.org/issues/caries/who-data/ ). Here are Featherstone’s conclusions:
Fluoride, the key agent in battling caries, works primarily via topical mechanisms: inhibition of demineralization, enhancement of remineralization and inhibition of bacterial enzymes.
Fluoride in drinking water and in fluoride-containing products reduces caries via these topical mechanisms.
3. Warren JJ, Levy SM, Broffitt B. et al. 2009. Considerations on optimal fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes–a longitudinal study. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 69(2):111-15. Spring.
If the Brunelle and Carlos (1990) paper was the largest US government funded study, the Warren et al (2009) paper was the most precise. This investigation was conducted as part of the “Iowa study,” which has been examining tooth decay in a cohort of children since birth. Warren et al. examined tooth decay as a function of daily ingestion of fluoride in mg/day (i.e. they examined individual exposure rather than the traditional way of comparing dental decay rates between communities with different concentrations of fluoride in water). The authors could not determine a clear relationship between caries experience and daily dose in mg/day. The authors’ state:
These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the overlap among caries/fluorosis groups in mean fluoride intake and extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, firmly recommending an “optimal” fluoride intake is problematic.
Please note that all three of these studies were carried out by pro-fluoridation dental researchers. Many dentists are oblivious of the fact that research carried out by their own pro-fluoridation colleagues has undermined the effectiveness that they claim. In addition it should be noted that in the 70 years since fluoridation was launched in 1945 there has never been a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) to establish in a scientific fashion that swallowing fluoride lowers tooth decay. This is the gold standard used by the FDA to establish the efficacy of any drug. Considering such a flimsy scientific basis for the effectiveness of this practice it is the height of arrogance to force a known toxic substance on people who don’t want it.
STUDIES ON THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF FLUORIDATION
4. Ko L, Thiessen KM. 2014. A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.
This paper demolished the claim by Susan Griffin (an economist at the CDC) that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 was saved on dental costs. This statement has been used countless times by state dental directors, public health officials and other promoters of fluoridation. We have provided more details on this in a previous bulletin.
In part 2, I will say a few words about papers 5-10 that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.”
From La Jicarita
By KAY MATTHEWS
Today the San Miguel County Commission unanimously voted to adopt the San Miguel County Oil and Gas Regulations ordinance, which uses zoning and stringent requirements to regulate how and where the oil and gas industry can explore, drill, and hydraulically “frack” within the county. At the last public hearing before the adoption of the ordinance, Robert Freilich, the land use law attorney who helped the county draft the ordinance, stated, “This ordinance is a lot better than Santa Fe’s ordinance.” He also acknowledged the hard work of the members of PROTECT San Miguel County, whose diligence in reviewing the ordinance and helping in its revision makes it one of the toughest in the country. After the commissioners passed the ordinance, they also thanked all of those who had worked so hard to make this a reality.
La Jicarita spoke with PROTECT San Miguel County member Bob Wessely about what makes the San Miguel County ordinance so strong. He described it as basically a “large collection” of details that have gone through four or five incremental drafts to address problems raised by his organization and by the public at the 15 or so hearings held over the last several years. He cited four areas in which the final draft is particularly rigorous:
- Permit application processes and studies are extensive, including detailed environmental impacts, water availability, traffic, infrastructure, geohydrology, fiscal impacts and emergency response plans.
- Regulations for enforcement now include the hiring of a well-qualified county inspector, paid for by the industry, who will be responsible for overall application review as well as frequent monitoring and inspections stipulated in the ordinance. The strong post-permit monitoring now includes a 10-year annual inspection of abandoned wells for possible leakage.
- The industry is held responsible for all County costs, including application technical review, ongoing inspection and monitoring, and additional off-site infrastructure (roads, judicial system, etc.).
- Protection and mitigation requirements have been expanded to cover all areas of potential impacts by the drilling process (surface water, groundwater, air, noise, lighting, traffic, viewshed, etc.).
These regulatory requirements will apply to the eastern portion of the county—the boundary line is about 30 miles east of I-25 and runs from north to south— where exploration and drilling will be allowed. The western portion of the county is off limits.
Other regulations that PROTECT requested or worked on with the county have also been included in the ordinance:
- Pre-operation baseline testing requirements for air quality and water quality are extensive.
- Air quality monitoring has been strengthened to protect county citizens from potential leaks of gasses during operations (drilling, fracking, and extraction). Closed loop systems are required. Open pit storage of fluids is prohibited.
- Disposal of all wastes must be at state approved waste facilities, of which there are none within the county.
- Water quality requirements were strengthened by designating which substances the industry has to test for.
- Set back limits from drilling operations were established for a wide arrange of categories. Residential and school set backs are 4,000 feet, approximately a kilometer; non-residential structures are 1,000 feet; and groundwater recharge areas such as wetlands, acequias, and rivers are 1.5 miles. Conchas Lake, a popular recreation area, has a 2-mile set back.
I asked Wessely if he felt this ordinance would act to discourage oil and gas development because of its onerous requirements. He answered that it would certainly discourage a “fly by night” operator and would make large companies like Shell carefully consider whether it’s worthwhile, before engaging in the process. While there is currently no drilling taking place in the county, there are leases in the Watrous area (west of the dividing line) and some ranchers in the eastern area are desirous of having drilling on their ranches.
The San Miguel Oil and Gas Regulations were long in the making. La Jicarita asked Pat Leahan, with the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center and PROTECT San Miguel County, to provide a timeline of how the public and county worked together to promulgate this ordinance.
- In 2008 the Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center was asked by some folks in Mora County to look into leases that were being requested in Mora County, which prompted the Center to see if there were any leases also being pursued in San Miguel County.
- In October of 2009 the Center went before the San Miguel County Commission to present the information that there had been drilling activity in 2006. The county was unaware of that fact and when it looked into county regulations involving extraction found that the regulations dealt primarily with gravel and other types of mining, not oil and gas.
- San Miguel County Attorney Jesus Lopez directed the commission to look into drafting a moratorium on oil and gas drilling to give the county time to look into the issue.
- At the November 10, 2009 county commission meeting the Peace and Justice Center presented documentation on the well that was drilled in 2006—location map, permit application, capping, etc.—and the Las Vegas Basin White Paper, a report that was commissioned by the group Drilling Santa Fe to analyze the impacts of potential drilling and fracturing in the Basin. The Center also presented this information to the mayor of Las Vegas who imposed a moratorium within the city limits.
- On December 8, 2009, the County Commission adopted Resolution 12- 08-09-NATURAL RESOURCES, proposing the adoption of a one-year moratorium on conditional use permits for oil, gas or geothermal exploration, extraction, or drilling. A moratorium was passed on January 10, 2010.
- In early 2010, after a screening of the film “Split Estate” a small group of people (Bob Wessely, Leslie Hammel-Turk, Brad Turk, Barbara Ehrlich, Kim Kirkpatrick, Carole Silon, Pat Leahan, Kate Daniel, Don Shaw, and Arielle Hawney) organized PROTECT San Miguel County to educate themselves and strategize on the issue of oil and gas development.
- The Las Vegas Peace and Justice Center retained the New Mexico Environmental Law Center as a consultant to help draft an oil and gas ordinance. After consulting with Drilling Santa Fe it learned of Robert Freilich, the land use attorney who helped draft the Santa Fe County Ordinance. Freilich was subsequently hired by the county to help draft the San Miguel ordinance.
- PROTECT San Miguel County sponsored and participated in many community forums and talks on Community Peace Radio to educate the public. A San Miguel County Oil and Gas Ordinance Task Force had been established and members of PROTECT joined the task force. The task force proved largely ineffective because of obstructionist tactics by the New Mexico Independent Petroleum Association representative.
- The moratorium on oil and gas development was renewed several times for a total of four years.
While folks in San Miguel County are celebrating the passage of these regulations, neighboring Mora County is navigating tough legal terrain. In 2013 Mora County passed an outright ban on oil and gas development and is now embroiled in two industry lawsuits. Last week, U.S. District Judge Browning heard arguments on a motion for summary judgment in the SWEPI LP (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) vs. Mora County lawsuit. Based on his statements in the courtroom—“Some of these provisions are pretty wild; they’re pretty inconsistent with centuries of federal law” —it seems likely that at a subsequent hearing he will rule that either some of the language in the Mora County Community Water Rights and Local Self-Government Ordinance is unconstitutional or that the entire ordinance should be thrown out. Another lawsuit filed against Mora County by private landholders and the Independent Petroleum Association remains extant but settlement negotiations are ongoing.
I hope this finds you well, willing and able to circulate these materials in time for the BLM deadline of Friday the 15th.
If you have contacts among other organizations to whom you can pass this on, it could be very important as our outreach is woeful.
I am sending 4 documents which may or may not all be useful to you: 1) BLM specifications for an acceptable letter of protest; 2) a synopsis of the arguments against fracking in this watershed through which passes the majority of the entire water supply for the state of New Mexico; 3) Talking Points to pick and choose from when writing a letter so that each is unique and not disqualified; 4) a sample letter.
The BLM Farmington Field Office is in the process of selling leases for 13 parcels of public land in the Santa Fe National Forest to oil and gas companies that may pollute our land, air and water. To allow this would endanger the Rio Chama Watershed and the Rio Grande with which it is joined. We need to protect the New Mexico’s primary watershed and this is our chance. The time is now! Please write your official letter of protest to stop the BLM from proceeding.
ALL PROTEST LETTERS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS for the October 22, 2014 Oil & Gas Lease Sale-Farmington Field Office:
By mail, by hand delivery or by fax (to 505-954-2010 Attn: Jesse Juen BLM) If you use mail, please pay for certified mail and send a copy to Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens at PO Box 835 Abiquiu NM 87510 Email will not be accepted at all. Address your protest: Attn: Jesse Juen, NM BLM State Director
301 Dinosaur Trail
PO Box 27115
Santa Fe, NM 8750
The protest must include your name RETURN ADDRESS. BLM must reply.
You must sign your protest as an individual citizen, not as an organization, unless fully ratified.
A protest must state the INTEREST of the protesting party in matter. E.g. I am a resident/rancher/land owner/hiker/visitor/acequiero.
Refer to the 13 parcels in the Santa Fe National Forest that should be deferred: NM 201410-001
NM-201410-004 through -015
The protest must include REASONS to support the protest. BLM will dismiss a protest filed without a statement of reasons. Use the talking points to help build your statement of reasons. The most important is the danger to the scant and precious supply of water in New Mexico. Procedurally, pointing out that the BLM’s has NOT fulfilled its responsibility to verify that studies conducted truly substantiate a “finding of no significant impact” (FONSI), is the most important objection we can make. Furthermore, we believe it’s impossible because you cannot fracture shale above the aquifer without contamination.
BLM must receive a protest no later than close of business on August 15, 2014.
As they said in school, USE YOUR OWN WORDS .The BLM disallows form letters. No email will be accepted.
Hydraulic fracturing, “fracking”, uses millions and millions of gallons of water for each well, every time it is fracked. if the BLM sells leases to oil and gas companies, they will use water necessary for the life of all communities downstream. Water is far more valuable to us than oil and gas because el agua ES la vida. New Mexico has never had water to spare, especially now that the monsoon doesn’t deliver as it used to and because we are in drought.
50 to 60% of all of New Mexico’s water passes through the eastern side of Rio Arriba as surface and ground water and all of it is at risk because of the danger of contamination. In 2009, the County Commission attempted to protect the eastern side of the Continental Divide where the headwaters of the Rio Chama form by delineating a frontier district protected from oil and gas exploitation and the ordinance should be respected. The lands proposed for lease sale by the BLM in the Santa Fe National Forest around Regina, are on the eastern side of the Continental Divide, among the tributaries of the Rio Chama. They are beautiful and precious places in themselves – the Rio Galllina, the wetland areas of Parcel 12, archaeological sites and more.
37,000 oil and gas wells are operating in the San Juan Basin around Farmington, with many more planned – providing a lot of oil and gas and a lot of revenue for government. It makes sense to restrict oil and gas production to areas of basin west of the Continental Divide that cannot contaminate widely downstream.
The process of extraction uses hundreds of chemicals in formulas that are trade secrets. Although the oil and gas industry claims they are safe, the national House of Representatives made a study identifying 2500 chemicals used of which 650 are known to cause cancer.
The wells proposed around Regina will be drilled in shallow shale, using a new technology of horizontal drilling which has not been adequately tested and studied. Because the shale layer sits on top of the Morrison Formation holding our aquifer which is recharged by rain and snowmelt trickling through the shale, there is no way to protect water in the aquifer from chemicals injected under pressure sufficient to break shale during this process. Wells drilled into Morrison Foundation, such as the community well in Cebolla, have been tested and proven to provide some of the best water in the state.
Fracking has been linked to earthquakes in many places that have never experienced them before. The Abiquiu Dam and other sites sit atop fault lines and are already vulnerable.
Gas is a often merely a byproduct of fracking, not worth capturing for sale, though it may measure in the hundreds of millions of gallons, as in Oklahoma. It will be released into our air, or burned off by “flaring” – like lighting a giant blowtorch – in the midst of a region where catastrophic fires have raged in recent years. Such large volumes of gas are flared off from the main shale fields that they are visible from space. This past winter a well exploded in Pennsylvania so it can happen again.
Storage tanks release volatile chemicals constantly in an invisible smoke which can be revealed by infrared film and none of it is healthy. The industry claims that you can drink fracking fluid but 17 cows in Pennsylvania died after an hour’s exposure. The closer you live to a fracking operation the greater your chances of developing chronic rashes, headaches, nosebleeds, severe asthma and other respiratory problems. (Within 5 – 12 miles is the danger zone being studied.) 300 residents of a Texas fracking town filed formal complaints recently with the state authorities. It is too soon to trace the effect of exposure to birth defects and cancers, but newborn babies across the nation already show 200-300 chemical contaminants in the blood of their umbilical cords when tested, according to the National Academy of Pediatrics.
Every well requires 400 – 2000 trucks running 24 hours a day carrying sand, frack fluid and water in, and oil, possibly gas, and “produced”, (which means poisoned), “water” out. 24 hours a day of tremendous noise, dirt, fires and lights all night, hundreds of transient workers and big machines pounding up and down roads without ceasing during the entire life of the well.
Perhaps 30% of the water forced into the rock comes back up, but laden with chemicals in a thick soup of sand. Standard practice is to truck this elsewhere and re-inject it, which seems to be causing earthquakes. The other technique is to pump it into evaporation pits. When these pits and impoundments get breached, the contaminants have flowed directly into ponds and pastures. Half the cows grazing near one, in western Pennsylvania, gave birth to dead calves that year and the following year effects were very visible in an unusual lack of steers.
This means that something like 70% of the potentially poisonous water remains in the permeable shale rock layer, trickling slowly down. The Floresta/Forest Service takes responsibility for the surface of the land. The studies they‘ve conducted on the impact of proposed oil fracking focus on the surface of the land. But, as devastating as oil extraction is to land, the catastrophic consequences are likely to happen slowly underground.
The BLM is charged with making sure that the FS studies adequately address the movement of water underground which is based on thoroughly understanding the geology of an area. But the subject of recent FS studies has been the Spotted Owl and road erosion. This sale should not be allowed to happen because there is not any basis for a “finding of no significant impact” (FONSI), which is a precondition for the sale. THIS MAY BE THE MOST EFFECTIVE POINT OF PROTEST
Independent review is also needed and Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens is undertaking one.
INCOMPLETE STUDY AND DISREGARD FOR PROCEDURE – the BLM needs to update the 2003 Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Mancos Shale/Gallup formation RMPA/EIS alternatives. These two studies do not address shallow shale hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in this geologic situation. If the lease sale continues BLM will be in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
WATER – anything you’d like to say about water; quality, availability, importance of clean water, etc. Millions of gallons of water are required for each proposed well and oil and gas companies will use our water. Fracking risks poisoning local water and that of millions of downstream users because the geologic layer containing oil and gas east of the Continental Divide sits above the aquifer.
CHEMICALS – oil and gas companies are not legally required to disclose the chemicals they inject into the wells. In 2011 the House of Representatives reported that of 2,500 fracking products, 650 contain known carcinogens. Spills in New Mexico’s oil and gas fields set records in 2012, with nearly 700 self-reported accidents. At least thirty reported spills during 2011 and 2012 impacted a waterway or a groundwater supply. Toxic waste -water will be produced by the millions of gallons and there is no reference in the BLM Assessment to how they will dispose of it.
EARTHQUAKES – the Abiquiu Reservoir and Heron Lake are placed near several known fault lines. Injection wells are often used to dispose of waste-water and are known to cause seismic activity.
AIR QUALITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE – flaring is a common practice used in fracking in which huge amounts of hydrocarbons are released directly into the atmosphere. Flaring also poses an extreme fire danger in our Santa Fe National Forest. A 3- 12 miles radius has been identified as dangerous to human and animal health. Waste- water pits are another means of disposing of the toxic sludge. These are open pits that are filled with waste-water and left to evaporate.
SOIL RESOURCES – in this high desert climate the soil can be fragile. Talk about your concerns for the soil in light of heavy traffic from big rigs used in fracking; erosion caused by roads and construction of drilling pads; toxic chemical spills and anything else you might have to say about the earth.
WILDLIFE – talk about endangerment of any particular species – disruption of migratory patterns, etc.
DARK SKY – talk about your feelings for an uninterrupted night sky view.
CULTURAL RESOURCES AND LANDSCAPES – talk about what is dear to your heart in this area – what resources and landscapes you want to remain. A section of the Old Spanish Trail runs through these parcels. The BLM has also identified hundreds of multi-cultural historic sites in the area of these parcels that are listed in the Environmental Assessment.
ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE – Quoting from the EA:
Environmental justice refers to the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of people of all races, cultures, and incomes with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, programs, and policies. It focuses on environmental hazards and human health to avoid disproportionately high and adverse human health of environmental effects on minority and low-income populations.
Talk about your feelings in light of this statement and what you know about hydraulic fracturing as it relates to the Rio Arriba Frontier District.
SOCIO ECONOMIC – Quoting from the EA: “An assumption is that the No Action Alternative (no lease option) would not affect current domestic production of oil and gas.” In other words, there are not major oil and gas reserves. They go on to say:
“If the BLM were to forego leasing and potential development of the proposed parcels, the assumption is that the public’s demand for the resource would not be expected to change. Instead, the mineral resource foregone would be replaced in the short-and long-term by other sources that may include a combination of imports, using alternative energy sources (e.g. wind, solar), and other domestic production. This offset in supply would result in a no net gain for oil and gas domestic production.”
Write about what you think about that.
DISRUPTS COMMUNITIES BY INCREASING NOISE POLLUTION AND TRAFFIC, OVERSTRESSES INFRASTRUCTURE – thousands of big rig trucks running on roads 24/7; generators, bright lights, hampered emergency response times, etc.
IN CLOSING – round out your letter with a reiteration of your demand/request to defer the remaining 13 parcels in this Lease Sale. Use your own words. The BLM Farmington Field Office has the authority, as the sale agent, to defer these remaining parcels. These 13 parcels in the Santa Fe National Forest pose the same issues as their neighboring parcels that have been deferred and the same risks to the Rio Chama Watershed east of the Continental Divide.
INCLUDE THIS SENTENCE: A finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the October 22, 2014 Oil and Gas Lease Sale is not adequately supported by the Environmental Assessment as it now stands.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
New Mexico State Office
PO Box 27115
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
Dear Director Juen,
My name is Felicity Garcia and I am writing to protest the proposed sales of parcels NM-201410-001, 004 thru 015 that will be offered up for lease in the BLM Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sale, October 22, 2014.
Interest in Protesting
I am a lifetime resident of Gallina, and my family has farmed and raised livestock in this area for hundreds of years. My income is based on the integrity and productivity of the land.
Reasons for Protesting
I understand the importance of clean water, and a functioning ecosystem for the health of our community. Without clean water we cannot hope to thrive in our traditional lands. We live with a limited amount of water in our part of the world, and I am concerned about the 2-10 million gallons of water that is used for each well in this process. I highly protest this misuse of the limited resource of water.
Chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing are known to cause cancer, neurological, and other health problems. There have been many examples of spills and groundwater contamination, despite the efforts of private oil and gas companies. The risk of polluting our precious water is too great. If our water is affected it is the residents who will have to live with the consequences, not these companies.
The waters in Gallina and Regina flow into the Rio Chama and any pollution will also affect our neighbors down river all throughout the state.
Our forests are vulnerable to forest fires because of extreme drought, and the hydraulic fracturing process involves many fire risks. Wells have exploded and caught fire, and the flaring of natural gas burn off can cause the dry forest to catch fire. Our forests are a part of our livelihoods and heritage as we use them for firewood, livestock forage, and wildlife habitats as we have for hundreds of years. After a fire burns the exposed soil can cause flooding that and also pollutes our rivers.
I again protest and ask you to defer the 13 parcels up for lease in the October 22, 2014 BLM Lease Sale.
Please send your mandatory response to.
P.O. Box 1116
Gallina, NM, 87017
Natural News exclusive: Fluoride used in U.S. water supplies found contaminated with lead, tungsten, strontium, aluminum and uranium
Natural News exclusive: Fluoride used in U.S. water supplies found contaminated with lead, tungsten, strontium, aluminum and uranium
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
(NaturalNews) The sodium fluoride added to U.S. water supplies is contaminated with the toxic elements lead, tungsten and aluminum, a Natural News Forensic Food Labs investigation has revealed. Strontium and uranium were also found in substantial quantities in some samples, raising additional questions about the purity of industrial fluoride used for water fluoridation.
These ICP-MS results, shown below, were determined with the very same ICP-MS laboratory instrumentation used by the FDA and various universities. Mike Adams, director of the lab and one of the world’s leading researchers into heavy metals contamination of foods, conducted the research.
Research summary and results
To conduct the research, Natural News acquired “pure” sodium fluoride from six chemical manufacturers in China who export fluoride for use in municipal water supplies and other industrial applications (such as pesticides).
Roughly 500 grams of white crystalline powder was acquired from each of the six companies in China.
From those original samples, approximately 0.5 grams of each sample was carefully weighed in laboratory vials, then digested using high purity “trace grade” acids suitable for ICP-MS analysis.
Following digestion, the samples were normalized using laboratory-grade water (in an acid matrix), then dilution factors were calculated in the ICP-MS control software.
Samples were then run via ICP-MS, following strict quality control procedures including the use of acid blanks, mid-range calibration checks, NIST-traceable standards and verifying the conformity of calibration concentration curves.
The results of the six sodium fluoride samples are shown here in parts per billion (ppb)
MAX aluminum: 283,218 ppb
MAX arsenic: 137 ppb
MAX strontium: 9417 ppb
MAX lead: 988 ppb
MAX uranium: 1415 ppb
MAX tungsten: presence confirmed in 2 of 6 samples but quantitative analysis not conducted on tungsten
AVG aluminum: 69364 ppb
AVG arsenic: 70 ppb
AVG strontium: 1751 ppb
AVG lead: 299 ppb
AVG uranium: 239 ppb
As with everything tested at the Natural News Forensic Food Labs, all samples are held in storage for future validation.
Comments from lead researcher Mike Adams
We now have irrefutable scientific proof that the sodium fluoride used in U.S. water supplies is contaminated with toxic elements, heavy metals and other elements which have radioactive isotopes (strontium and uranium) that are present in the environment at trace levels.
The presence of these elements in water fluoridation chemicals cannot be refuted by any informed person, as the evidence is easily confirmed by any competent laboratory running ICP-MS instrumentation.
We also know that U.S. cities which foolishly engage in water fluoridation almost never test their raw materials for heavy metals contamination. After all, there is no law against dumping toxic heavy metals into public water supplies as long as the bags of powder are labeled “sodium fluoride.” While the EPA does require municipal water suppliers to test their water for overall heavy metals concentrations, in reality the samples acquired for this testing are often acquired upstream from the fluoride insertion point, thereby excluding the fluoride contaminants from the tests.
My laboratory testing shows that metals contamination varies considerably from one source of fluoride to the next. For example, while 988 ppb of lead was found in the sodium fluoride from one source, another source showed as little as 53 ppb. But that low-lead source contained over 1,400 ppb of uranium, a potentially concerning figure considering the amount of lingering radioactive uranium still found on the planet thanks to decades of atomic weapons testing. (The most abundant forms of uranium are non-radioactive, of course.)
The industrial heavy metal tungsten, which I have confirmed exists in imported rice protein products, was also found in two out of the six samples tested (33 1/3rd percent). This indicates a very high likelihood that people who are drinking fluoridated water from municipal water supplies may also be drinking tungsten (which has been linked to increased stroke risk at high concentrations).
Why fluoride advocates are forced to lie about what’s really in the fluoride
Fluoride advocates have always used dishonest language to try to deceive the public about fluoride. I remember seeing an advertisement from a pro-fluoride city which claimed, “Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. Water fluoridation simply restores the natural level of that mineral in the water to protect public health.” Such a claim, we all know, is blatantly false in both its literal wording and its implied claim.
For starters, just because an element is “naturally occurring” does not make it healthy. Arsenic is also a naturally-occurring mineral in many water wells, but arsenic causes cancer and death. If the argument of fluoride proponents is that all “naturally-occurring minerals” should be “restored” to public water supplies, then by their logic we should also be dumping arsenic into the city water.
Secondly, sodium fluoride imported from China’s industrial chemical factories is not at all the same as a fluoride mineral found in groundwater. There are many different chemical compounds which contain fluorine elements in various configurations. Some are far more toxic than others, and all of them are, by default, labeled “fluoride” for purposes of municipal water fluoridation. This dishonest labeling is of course entirely intentional.
Thirdly, fluoride contamination of water wells around the globe is a very large and widespread problem. This is what gives rise to the epidemic of dental fluorosis, affecting tens of millions of children across the globe. Just because fluoride is found in some wells doesn’t mean it should be added to all other water supplies. The idea is ludicrous, and anyone who argues such an invalid point only admits they are irrational or unintelligent to begin with.
When they push “fluoride,” they don’t tell you about the toxic heavy metals you’re also drinking
The other dirty little secret of the fluoridation industry, we now know for certain, is that when fluoride proponents say children need to drink “fluoride,” they never mention the lead, tungsten, uranium, aluminum, strontium and other elements found in common fluoridation chemicals.
What is the public health impact of millions of children around the world drinking trace levels of lead with fluoride? It can’t be good: lead is well known to damage children’s IQs and impair learning. Even though the levels of lead in public water caused by contaminated fluoride are likely to be very small, they still contribute to other sources of lead exposure such as lead alloys in brass pipe fittings — which are still common in residential plumbing.
Important questions about fluoride and public health
Here are several crucial questions for us all to consider:
1) If water fluoridation is supposed to be about protecting public health, then shouldn’t fluoride be free from toxic heavy metals?
2) Why don’t cities which are engaged in water fluoridation test their raw materials for heavy metals and publicly share the results with residents?
3) Why isn’t there a national law requiring purity minimums for fluoride added to public water supplies?
4) If all the doctors and dentists who promote fluoride claim to be protecting public health, why have NONE of them ever tested fluoride for heavy metals contamination?
6) What are the ethical implications of mandating public consumption of a substance known to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals? Doesn’t making fluoride mandatory in the water supply also mean heavy metals consumption also becomes mandatory when the fluoride is contaminated?
Don’t expect anyone from the mainstream media to answer any of these questions, however. They’re still pretending fluoride is good for you!