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SWIG: Safe Water Is Great -- Our "Official" Statement
Safe Water is Great (SWIG) is a group of citizens from the Grand Valley of western Colorado (USA) concerned with the health effects of drinking water obtained in our area, striving to have clean, safe drinking water for our residents, visitors, livestock, and pets. We are similarly concerned about the impacts of water treatment and distribution on the Earth/environment, and on topical application of fluoride to teeth, with our primary focus being the safety of water utilized by people for their or their animals/pets/livestock's consumption through ingestion (drinking) and applications to the skin such as showering and bathing.
SWIG Founding Members Jim Kennedy (DDS), Mardy Ross (OTR), Kevin King, Jeff McCloskey (DC). Photography by Ronda Hummel, assisted by Dominic Jones.
Background: SWIG was founded in the summer of 2012 by three health care professionals and a water quality/treatment specialist, Kevin King. The providers are Dr. James (Jim) Kennedy, DDS/holistic dentist of DentoCranial Therapeutics, Dr. Jeff McCloskey of New Life Chiropractic, DC/chiropractor), and Mardy Ross, OTR/founder of Lumigrate, a health education business focusing on functional and integrative medicine using a collaborative care approach utilizing many disciplines of medicine, conventional and complementary. Doctors Kennedy and McCloskey joined other local and national health experts providing content at Lumigrate to reach the world-wide following in 2011 and early 2012, respectively.
All of the SWIG founders live and have our businesses in Mesa County/Grand Junction and are proud to call this area 'home'. There are many components to safe drinking water, and the members of SWIG are appreciative of the very high quality water obtained by the entities in our area responsible for proving water to area consumers.
Our concerns related to health care are centered on our geographic home, but extend beyond the boundaries of our own city or county which is how the providers came to collaborate on various wellness topics through Lumigrate.com, to reach out via the Internet, which has served thousands since it's start in 2009. The SWIG group believes Lumigrate can serve to educate both the local and world-wide consumers about the important issue of safe water related to wellness.
We were initially drawn together related to safe water/water quality for wellness over our mutual concerns for the lack of education surrounding the long-standing practice in many communities of fluoride being added to the water at treatment plants. Our area is served by four water entities for household use: Ute Water, the City of Grand Junction, the City of Clifton, and the Town of Palisade. Recently, Palisade has stopped adding fluoride and there was some debate and they maintained their cessation.
"The Great Flouride Debate" has been going on for a long time in the United States, and it is probably safe to say that it may never be universally agreed upon overall in the United States or locally. In the US and Canada, the Flouride Action Network reports major progress at eliminating fluoride in water supplies: In the past year, they confirmed at least 40 communities have ended fluoridation for more than 2 million residents, including major urban areas such as: Pinellas County, Florida (pop. 700,000) Albuquerque, New Mexico (pop. 500,000), Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (pop. 140,000), College Station, Texas (pop. 100,000), Fairbanks, Alaska (pop. 80,000).
Our call to action:
Locally, Palisade Public Works Director Frank Watt was reported in the Grand Junction Sentinel in May of this year* to make the following statement, creating debate in Palisade and "calling us" to meet and form SWIG.
“My job is to make safe, clean drinking water for the town, and the addition of fluoride does not make the water safer or cleaner.”
“Let’s say it’s better for your oral health ... There are a lot of other nutritional deficiencies out there for which I’m not adding anything to the water. An informed public can make decisions on their own health.”
Our intentions with SWIG related to fluoride are simple:
To provide streamlined, valid information and education through a variety of opportunities and means, so the public can be informed related to fluoride in general related to dental/tooth health, both from our vantage point and the conventional point of view. We will concentrate on fluoride being added at water treatment plants, but there is information included related to the topical application 'debate' as well, for those who wish to also decide for themselves which toothpaste to purchase and use. Information about the risks of professional application of fluoride to teeth is included in our materials here at Lumigrate, but we defer consumers to consult with their dental providers about that aspect of their medical care and encourage all involved to research and make an informed decision about that aspect of their medical care, looking at the consumer's overall wellness and their individual situation.
We are taking this approach because there is an overwhelming amount of information to sift through on the topic which, to the average person, is extremely difficult to ascertain what sources are valid and not. We are, therefore, proving the 'distilled version' of our research which we believe to be the most valid, in a streamlined way, in this area of Lumigrate.com, as we do many other topics we educate the public about. The more we met and discussed, the more we were challenged ourselves with the vast amount of information in just this one 'little' area about health!
So if you are seeking more information and education, please look for the topics created by our medical experts by Searching at Lumigrate on 'fluoride', navigating with the link at the top of this article, or following the link at the bottom of this article for the section "Supplementing What You Eat and Drink", which contains all our materials about fluoride and health, water and health, and the 'story' of SWIG.
Our concern surround fluoride's impact is on the health of the thyroid gland in particular, and we believe there is convincing evidence to consider which indicates fluoride in water being ingested for the past half century in many areas has contributed to the obesity epidemic which impacts the health of many millions of people in the United States and beyond.
Additionally, the form of fluoride added to water at treatment plants is not the same form which is normally found in water, and the education we provide at Lumigrate presents this in more detail for those who wish to read and investigate further. Other information we provide and believe is valid and worth considering is about fluoride's effects on long-term bone and tooth structure and those effects on overall health and well-being and associated direct and indirect costs.
We also plan to survey the opinion of people in the area as well as those reached through Lumigrate.com outside our geographic area, and provide the people we reach with educational support if they wish to become more informed. We forsee this being an ongoing process and as we have acknowledged, above, there won't be total agreement, but we hope procedures will yield to what makes the most sense for our community currently.
Individually and as a group, we are providing numerous sources related to fluoride, including those which we don't personally subscribe to with our personal opinions, and we believe people will help extend the reach by printing or otherwise sharing and circulating the information with people they know who might be interested in learning more and potentially changing their health and that of their community members by having the discussions and working together to also further education and create change if the community members are in agreement.
Our experience educating patients and the public over our decades of professional experience as medical proivders has resulted in people often shifting their opinions about supplemental water fluoridation. They also often change their opinions about fluoride in toothpaste: There is an increasing market share of fluoride-free toothpaste, and the boxes essentially state "since many people want the choice to not have fluoride, we provide that option". On the brands' box for the fluoridated option, a warning related to keeping it out of the reach of children under the age of 8 is required because fluoride is a toxin. You will find details of this if you review our topics here and the links we provide for further, quality, investigation.
We believe those who wish to continue the practice of ingesting fluoride can do so through individual decision and action, just like anything else which a person has an appreciation for related to health and wellness. Individuals who wish to supplement fluoride internally/systemically can opt to take pills and drops which are inexpensive and are of a superior, pharmaceutical quality compared to the form that is massively fed into the water treatment plants.
It is important to note more accurate dosing would be achieved by individuals taking fluoride pills or drops, as the dose of fluoride a person is consuming if it is part of their water supply is dependent upon how much liquid they drink using water which has been fluoridated. Many people 'don't like water' and drink other prepared and purchased beverages they purchase outside the home. Other people believe in drinking copious amounts of water -- so you can see how relatively few people would, today, be getting the amount of fluoride that has been considered beneficial in the past when the plants in question started adding it to water. It simply makes no sense to provide a supplement in something which people vary so greatly in quantity consumed!
It is indisputable that Americans' consumption of liquids, water included, has shifted drastically since the initiation of fluoride supplementation into the public's water supplies was initated, going back to studies and "thinking" of the 1940's. We have included an overview of the history of this aspect in our resources at Lumigrate as well. This thinking was, in our opinion, a strategy which no longer applies and can simply be stopped.
Many people filter their water through reverse osmosis devices which utilize resources of time, energy and money in order to remove fluoride. Simple and inexpensive carbon filters will remove the chlorine molecules, which also have different negative effects on the body in our opinion, but chlorine, is clearly necessary in our opinion for water to remain safe from bacteria from plant to tap in the long pipes which also can be breached and allow contaminants into the water.
Carbon filters are ineffective on the fluoride molecules, unfortunately, and thus it is very costly for people who do not wish to consume the fluoride added to water. Some people choose to purchase and install reverse osmosis systems for their homes, and others haul bottles to and from stores which sell water put through reverse osmosis, while others have bottled water delivered to their home. All of these result in high costs per household.
In today's challenging financial times, a line item which can easily be eliminated from treatment plant budgets is the expense of adding a chemical at the treatment plants to 100% of the water, when only 0.5% of the it is consumed. This is a point worth considering even for those who believe this form of fluoride is beneficial to wellness and health.
Our primary concern related to health and wellness with fluoride supplementation is that it competes with iodine in the body, and iodine is absolutely critical for thyroid, ovarian, hormonal health, and for its role in preventing cancer (through normal cellular apoptosis).
Lastly, in the United States, we do not perform other mass-medication using our water supply as the delivery system, fluoride is a unique situataion which has it's origination in the 1940's.
In summary, considering
- the substantial concern over fluoridation by increasing numbers of people due to the documented toxicity of sodium fluorosilicate, the form currently added to Grand Junction’s water supply which is different from the fluoride found naturally in safe, quality water
- the disability of having dose tied to the amount of water with flouride added consumed, and inability to control individual dose despite varying individual factors such as age, health, etc.,
- many members of the community do not wish to ingest and "systemically" be supplemented nutritionally with this form of fluoride or fluoride of any kind besides what naturally occurs in water, and are forced to purchase expensive filters, bottled water either at the store or delivered to their homes and businesses, which are then disposed of or recycled, or transporting bottles to and from reverse osmosis machines in stores, tallying about a gallon per household consumer per day.
- These filters and bottles are often difficult to manipulate for smaller or less strong individuals, many of whom have become educated in order to benefit their wellness/illness situation, and it contributes to hand, wrist, and arm injuries as well as the overall body and spine as many people try to manipulate 5 gallon bottles which weigh over 35#. There are ways to compensate which are more costly and time-consuming, and most people are not aware and educated about those strategies and become injured and risk their personal safety.
- only 0.5% of the treated water treated is being ingested by people; approximately 99.5% of water utilized by consumers ‘goes down the drain’ to the waste-water treatment facilities after use for toileting, showering, and washing of dishes and clothes, or is used to water landscaping and gardens.
- and for the other reasons mentioned in the research cited or linked-to in our accompanying consolidated education, which we link to below, .....
.... please join us in focusing on the goal of restoring clean, safe water to ALL resident of the Grand Valley, and leave the medication up to the individuals, physicians and dentists under a restored policy of freedom of choice as to what we put into our bodies.
SWIG Founding Members ~~ Jim Kennedy, D.D.S, Kevin King, Jeff McCloskey D.C., Mardy Ross, O.T.R.
* Source: GJ Sentinel: http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/palisade-water-without-fluoride (Note: Subscription required to utilize this website but they have free short-term subscriptions).
Articles related to fluoride at Lumigrate.com by James Kennedy, DDS and Jeff McCloskey, DC where we route you to our 'top picks' for further education, along with other regionally and nationally recognized health experts, as well as my topic about water and wellness in general:www.lumigrate.com/forums/preventive-medicine-concepts/nutrition/supplementing-what-you-eat-and-drink
Our #1 TOP Pick to link out from Dr Kennedy and Dr McCloskey's articles is for Gary Null's website information about fluoride with our suggestion to pay special attention to the first six pages which covers the history of how water fluoridation came about as an outgrowth of businesses during the industrial revolution seeking to minimize responsibility for fluoride toxicity. It should be an eye-opener to anyone who researches this for themselves.
Note from Mardy: At the above link, related to "The SWIG Story" so far, we have covered the founding members coming together in May of 2012 and discussing their concerns and knowledge about fluoride's effects on various aspects of the body and "health", meeting in person and creating a name/acronym and mission statement, then moving forward to educate and reach people both through the Internet platform of Lumigrate.com and our various social media tools.
In the next week we will follow the 'dress rehearsal for "SWIG and Discuss over Dinner", as we move forward to responding to the interest of local people concerned about health and water safety and quality by creating desired opportunities for in-person discussions and presentations.
You can see the entire information by Searching at Lumigrate.com on "SWIG". We hope that the "story" and educational materials we provide through Lumigrate can help any other concerned individuals in communities beyond our direct reach to learn and similarly create community-based groups to promote awareness and increase the health safety and quality of drinking water.
Thank you for joining us, learning, and if you do so, helping spread the word. ~~ Mardy
Live and Learn. Learn and Live Better! is my motto. I'm Mardy Ross, and I founded Lumigrate in 2008 after a career as an occupational therapist with a background in health education and environmental research program administration. Today I function as the desk clerk for short questions people have, as well as 'concierge' services offered for those who want a thorough exploration of their health history and direction to resources likely to progress their health according to their goals. Contact Us comes to me, so please do if you have questions or comments. Lumigrate is "Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being" for increasing numbers of people. Follow us on social networking sites such as: Twitter: http://twitter.com/lumigrate and Facebook. (There is my personal page and several Lumigrate pages. For those interested in "groovy" local education and networking for those uniquely talented LumiGRATE experts located in my own back yard, "LumiGRATE Groove of the Grand Valley" is a Facebook page to join. (Many who have joined are beyond our area but like to see the Groovy information! We not only have FUN, we are learning about other providers we can be referring patients to and 'wearing a groove' to each other's doors -- or websites/home offices!) By covering some of the things we do, including case examples, it reinforces the concepts at Lumigrate.com as well as making YOU feel that you're part of a community. Which you ARE at Lumigrate!
This forum is provided to allow members of Lumigrate to share information and ideas. Any recommendations made by forum members regarding medical treatments, medications, or procedures are not endorsed by Lumigrate or practitioners who serve as Lumigrate's medical experts.