Silicofluorides as a risk factor for lead absorption

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  • 1. SILICOFLUORIDES AS A RISK FACTOR FOR LEAD ABSORPTION*When either hydrofluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride are added to a water supply,published research has identified biological effects of the "residue" of partiallydissociated silicofluoride molecules. These effects increase both immediate "uptake” ofenvironmental lead to blood and long term “absorption” of lead in body organs.Resulting changes in brain chemistry influence social behavior and call into question thepolicy of using these chemicals in treating public water supplies in the U.S.I. Silicofluorides Increase Uptake and Absorption of Lead from the Environment.Where SiF is used, the innate biological system of removing the lead (bonding tometallothioneins and excretion in feces) is compromised or bypassed. As a result, wherethere is lead in the environmental exposure (from any source, like chips from lead paintin old housing, industrial pollution, lead stored in soils, or lead in first draw water at thefaucet), there is more uptake of lead into blood and subsequent absorption of the lead inbodily organs. SiF treated water therefore increases overall “bioavailability” of leadfrom the environment, harming society by the following mechanisms. A. Silicofluorides do NOT dissociate the same way sodium fluoride does; ratherWestendorf found they leave a "residual" compound that doesnt occur when sodiumfluoride dissolves into sodium ion & fluoride ion. B. The residue from SiF increases uptake of lead from the environment byincreasing permeability of stomach membrane (opening the tight junctions between cells)so that ingested lead is more likely to enter the blood instead of being excreted afterbinding to metallothionein. C. SiF increases the threat to normal behavior from high blood lead insofar asgreater permeability of the blood brain barrier increases the exposure of brain cells to theeffects of lead on brain chemistry (see section III below). D. The SiF residue can also facilitate absorption of lead into the body’s organs andbone (for long term storage), thereby further increasing the total effects of ingested lead. E. Evidence shows that, controlling for other risk factors, community averages ofchildren’s blood lead levels are significantly higher where silicofluorides are added towater than where fluoridation uses sodium fluoride or water is not artificially fluoridated(except for some naturally fluoridated waters akin to SiF treated water). 1. Effects of exposure to old houses with lead paint and first draw water with over15 ppb of lead -- major factors in childrens blood lead -- are significantly worse wherethere is also SiF in water (Fig. 1). 2. SiF also exacerbates higher lead absorption associated with race because blacksare more likely to be lactose intolerant, and with poverty because calcium deficient dietsincrease lead absorption (Figs. 3a-b).II. Silicofluorides Inhibit Acetylcholinesterase.* Research described in this section was conducted jointly by Myron Coplan and Roger Masters
  • 2. A. Acetylcholine (ACh) is an excitatory neurotransmitter (like an ON switch for aneuron), and an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase (AChE) breaks down ACh (like anOFF switch). B. AChE inhibition causes excitation (theres more ON if the OFF is turned OFF).For example, an AChE inhibitor called Aricept is being used to slow down loss ofmemory in early Alzheimers Disease by increasing activity in the hippocampus. Otherstudies show AChE inhibition increases aggressive behavior in young males. C. Westendorf found that SiF also acts as an Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.III. Lead Neuroxicity And Behavior. A. Higher blood lead levels are associated with harmful effects on brain chemistryand behavior by reducing dopamine function. B. Lead has long been known to lower IQ scores, and recent data show the percentof children with high blood lead (> 10µg/dL) is significantly associated with acommunity’s lower average scores on 9 standardized (MCAS) tests in Mass. schools. C. Exposure to lead pollution, as recorded in the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory,significantly increases county-level rates of violent crime. D. The ban on leaded gas significantly lowered rates of violent crime in the U.S.The correlation between leaded gas sales in a year and violent crimes 17 years later isabout 0.97, an association due to the sharp decline in offenses by individuals around 17years old. Apparently, prenatal exposure to aerosol fumes from leaded gas had anirreversible effect on brain development and self-control of aggression, which wouldexplain the time lag between ending sales of leaded gas and lower crime rates.IV. Behavioral Effects of Water Treated with Silicofluorides. Our statistics show thatuse of SiF is associated with higher rates of violent crime in the U.S. controlling for up toa dozen socio-economic and demographic factors. A. Violent crime rates are even worse in populations exposed to both lead pollutionand SiF (Figures 2a-b). These outcomes are probably due to the combined effects ofgreater absorption of lead from the environment and AChE inhibition. B. While statistics measuring learning disabilities and substance abuse are not asabundant or reliable as national crime statistics, available evidence indicates SiF is alsoassociated with higher rates of learning disabilities and substance abuse.V. Policy Implications. The addition of SiF to public water supplies was approved in1950 without testing. Toxicology of these compounds was not studied until the NationalToxicology Program recommended them for testing in 2002, but results of this study arestill not known. Considering the costs of violent crime (imprisonment averaging around$25,000 per offender per year) and special education (averaging around $15,000 perstudent per year), the hitherto unsuspected side-effects of adding SiF to water may costAmerican taxpayers billions of dollars a year. Therefore we have proposed a moratoriumon SiF usage until it is PROVEN to be safe and without these effects.VI. New Finding: Lead Leaching from Brass. Another effect recently demonstrated bylaboratory experiments by Maas et al. occurs due to increased lead in public water whenSiF is combined with the use of chloramine (instead of chlorine) for disinfection, a
  • 3. practice resulting in greater leaching of lead from BRASS fixtures including meters,faucets, etc. (Table I). FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rmasters/AHABS.
  • 4. Figure 1 Factors Associated with Childrens Blood Levels - Massachusetts 4.00 3.50 3.00 Ave. Lead in Blood (ug/dL) 2.50 No Silicofluoride 2.00 Silicofluoride 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 < > < > 15 15 15 15 pbb ppb ppb ppb Lead in Water Houses pre 1940 Houses pre 1940 Less than 29.5% Over 29.5%ANOVA Significance:Main EFFECTS % Houses pre 1940: p = .00901, F 21.17 90th percentile 1st Draw Lead > 15ppb: p = .0101, F 6.75 Silicofluoride use: p = .0177, F 5.63Interaction effect silicofluoride use * 1st Draw Lead in Water: p = .0422, F 4.18Source: Masters & Coplan, "Water Treatment with Silicofluorides and Lead Toxicity," InternationalJournal of Environmental Studies, 56: 435-439 (1999), Fig. 1.
  • 5. FIGURE 2a.Lead Pollution: EPA Toxic Release Inventory: solid bars =present; diagonal stripes = no lead pollution.
  • 6. Figure 2b
  • 7. Figure 3a: Number VBPb>10g/dL Odds Ratio Risk Ratio Tested HiF/LoF Low SiF 127 10 .079 232/79 = High 612 142 .232 2.9 SiFNote that blood lead levels over 10µg/dL are substantiallymore frequent than among whites (Fig. 3b below). Almost allBlacks with high blood lead (including the 2 individualswith average wealth were in counties with high exposure tosilicofluoride treated water. With the exception of 2individuals of average wealth who were exposed tosilicofluorides, those Blacks with high blood lead tendedto be poor (all with poverty-income ratio =/<3 and almostall =/<2).
  • 8. Figure 3b: Number VBPb>10g/dL Odds Ratio Risk Ratio Tested HiF/LoF Low SiF 110 0 .00 .032/.00 = High 310 10 .032 infinite SiF Note that ALL White children in NHANES III sample who had blood leadover 10µg/dL were relatively poor (income/poverty ratio =/< 2) andlived in counties with a high exposure to silicofluoride treated water.
  • 9. Table I Maas 2006 Water Lead Data Illustrating Enhanced Brass Corrosion By Combinations of Water Fluoridation and Disinfection Agents Water Lead (ppb) Found After Overnight Dwellb Agenta Combinations During 6 weeks of Flow-through Exposure 18 Sample 6 Samples Grand Mean Last 2 weeks Peak Value Effect of F agent(a) CA + FSA 60 39 300(b) CA, extra NH3 + FSA 61 98 150 b/c 2.1, 2.8, 3.0(c) CA, extra NH3 29 35 50(d) CA, extra NH3 + NaF 36 51 100 d/c 1.2, 1.5, 2.0(e) CL + FSA 202 45 1,000 e/g 1.8, ?? 5.3(f) CL + NaF 151 107 210 f/g 1.3 1.2 1.1(g) CL alone 115 88 190Notes: (a) Agents added as 2 ppm: CA=chloramine; CL=chlorine; FSA=fluosilcic acid ; NH3=ammonia in solution; NaF=sodium fluoride in solution; pH held at 7.2-7.5 (b) Three samples taken per week for six weeks