FOX News March 22, 2006
WASHINGTON — The high levels of fluoride that occur naturally in some drinking water can cause tooth and bone damage and should be reduced, the National Research Council said Wednesday.
The study did not analyze the benefits or risks of adding fluoride to drinking water. Instead it looked at the current maximum limit of 4 milligrams per liter. Approximately 200,000 people live in communities where that level occurs naturally in water.
The Council suggested further studies to establish a new maximum level, but noted that the problems associated with exposure to fluoride are very small at 2 milligrams per liter and less. Approximately 1.4 million people have drinking water with natural fluoride levels of 2.0 to 3.9 milligrams per liter, said the Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences.
More than 160 million Americans live in communities with artificially fluoridated water, which contains between 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter.
Fluoride is added to water to help strengthen the teeth.
Drinking water with levels above the maximum can cause tooth discoloration and weaken the enamel, and long-term accumulation in the bones can result in an increase in fractures, the Council reported.
The National Academy of Sciences is an independent organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters. The study was requested by the Environmental Protection Agency.
High levels of radioactive material found in water under N.Y. nuclear plantASSOCIATED PRESS March 22, 2006
By Jim Fitzgerald
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – High levels of a radioactive material – nearly three times the amount permitted in drinking water – were found in groundwater near the Hudson River beneath a nuclear plant, the owner said Tuesday.
The groundwater does not intersect drinking supplies, and although the strontium-90 is believed to have reached the Hudson it would be safely diluted in the river, said Jim Steets, spokesman for Entergy Nuclear Northeast.
The strontium – which in high doses can cause cancer – was found in a well dug in a search for the source of a leak of radioactive water at the Indian Point complex, about 30 miles north of New York City.
The test well is among nine dug in an attempt to pinpoint the leak. Contaminated water was first found in August.
Entergy's finding matched tests by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on the same sample, Steets said.
The sample also yielded tritium, another potential carcinogen, at levels well above the drinking water standard. High levels had been found earlier in another test well. The nuclear commission announced Monday that it would investigate releases of tritium at Indian Point and other plants.
Neil Sheehan, a commission spokesman, said the agency still believes the radioactivity – given that it is not in drinking water – is well below the level that would “pose a risk to public health and safety.”