Seattle Water Contamination Impacts Mercer Island

PO Box 2276, Lynnwood, Washington  98036-2276
Telephone 425-771-1110, Fax 425-776-8081


September 6, 2011


Bruce Bassett – Councilmember        Jane Brahm – Councilmember
Mike Cero – Councilmember             Mike Grady – Councilmember
Dan Grausz – Councilmember          Jim Pearlman, Mayor
El Jahncke – Deputy Mayor

City of Mercer Island
9611 SE 36th Street
Mercer Island WA 98040

Hand Delivered and sent by email to:;;;;;;;

Dear Council Members, Mayor, and Deputy Mayor:

I am the president of Fluoride Class Action and the vice-president of Washington Action for Safe Water. I write this letter on behalf of Fluoride Class Action. Members of Fluoride Class Action and Washington Action for Safe Water live in Mercer Island and drink Seattle water.

All the statements I make in this letter are backed up by scientific and medical journal articles and/or admissions made by the CDC, all of which can be found at the following links:

Mercer Island fluoridates its water with Seattle water. Seattle uses the cheap, industrial grade fluoride called silicofluoride. Silicofluoide contains lead and arsenic and other heavy metals.

Sodium fluoride was originally used for fluoridation, but sodium fluoride is more expensive. Silicofluoride leaches large quantities of lead from pipes and fittings. Silicofluoride corrodes and reduces the useful life of city water equipment.

Today’s brass pipes and fittings are 8.0% lead. Before 1986 they were 30% lead or more. For that reason there will be lead in excess of the EPA limit in drinking water in old schools, old houses, old apartment buildings, and old commercial buildings. Blood lead levels are higher in fluoridated communities.

Lead penetrates every cell in the body and is highly toxic. One of the effects of lead is to lower intelligence. We are dumbing down our children and grandchildren. We are shortening the lifespan of adults.

It was discovered in 2004 that tap water in Seattle schools was up to 1,600 ppb lead. Seattle has spent millions of dollars replacing water pipes in old schools, however, this does not fix the problem in old houses, old apartment buildings, and old commercial buildings. The only real solution is to quit using fluoridating, especially with silicofluoride.

Mercer Island no doubt has the same lead problems as Seattle, and Federal law requires each city to send out lead notices when there are indications of lead problems.

The CDC says fluoride is good for teeth. The CDC claims that fluoride reduces tooth decay by 17% to 25%. However, Europe is virtually fluoride free, and rates of tooth decay there have dropped as much there as in the United States.

On the other hand, the CDC admits that fluoride causes 41% of kids 12-15 to have some level of dental fluorosis, and that 8.6% have moderate fluorosis (brown spots), and that 3.6% have severe fluorosis (brown spots with pitting and chalky teeth). So CDC is saying we should trade a 17% to 25% reduction I tooth decay for a 41% level of dental fluorosis. If fluoride is so special, why does it not reduce decay rates to zero?

The CDC proposes to lower fluoride levels from 1 ppm to .7 ppm, however, a 30% reduction is not sufficient. The level of fluoride added should be zero.

Further, the CDC admits that the effect of fluoride is topical only, as with toothpaste. So ingesting fluoride makes no sense.

Moreover, the CDC advises parents not to use fluoridated water to mix formula. Infants drink 2.5 to 4.0 times as much liquids as adults in proportion to body weight. Kidneys are not fully developed at birth, so an infant’s ability to excrete fluoride is less than that of a healthy adult.

Diabetics, athletes, and those who work outside in the heat can drink ten times the average amount of water, and so the fluoride dose cannot be controlled.

Fluoride damages kidneys. The National Kidney Foundation withdrew its endorsement of fluoridation.

Silicofluoride does not go just to the teeth. It makes bones brittle and results in hip fractures in seniors.

Fluoride affects Blacks, Hispanics, and the poor disproportionately, because their diet contains less vegetables and less calcium.

Around one percent of the population is downright allergic to fluoride. They experience abdominal pain when drinking fluoridated water.

Fluoride is one of the greatest frauds of the last century. We continue to fluoridate because it produces cash for chemical companies and because it is a way to dispose of toxic waste. It took 50 years to get rid of tetraethyl lead gasoline and asbestos, and it is time to get rid of fluoride.

Although Mercer Island buys its water from Seattle, Mercer Island should protect its citizens and should protect itself from legal liability. Mercer Island should send out lead notices as federal law requires.

Mercer Island should demand that Seattle provide a source of water free of lead, arsenic, and silicofluoride, and until it does Mercer Island should demand that Seattle indemnify and hold Mercer Island harmless from any liability it might incur.

In the meantime Mercer Island should reopen all the old wells so that Mercer Island residents will have a source of pure water.

The City Council should share these documents with the city attorney and with the city’s insurance carrier to confirm coverage.


James Robert Deal, Attorney
WSBA Number 8103
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