Proposed Tennessee Law Would Stop Water Contamination

by | Feb 14, 2012 | Action Plan | 7 comments

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New Tennessee law (below) would effectively ban water contamination by any chemical, including lead, arsenic, lithium, aluminum, and other contaminants, including commercial grade fluorosilicic acid. It would do that by requiring suppliers of additives to provide they are safe and effective.

This is the text of the new law:


SB 3760 by *Gresham. (HB 3790 by *Dennis.)

Water – As introduced, requires manufacturers of products added to public water systems to verify the safety of such products to the system operators. – Amends TCA Title 53, Chapter 1, Part 1 and Title 68, Chapter 221, Part 7.

Fiscal Summary

Increase State Expenditures – $213,900/General Fund $428,500/Environmental Protection Fund Increase Local Expenditures – Exceeds $4,000,000*

Bill Summary

This bill requires public water systems to only purchase such substances from chemical manufacturers or responsible entities in the chain of delivery of the product who provide a declaration for their product that the product:

(1) Is effective at treating the legislatively-identified specific disease or health condition, or affects the bodily functions to prevent the specific adverse health condition in consumers, consistent with fulfilling the stated legislative intent for this product’s use; and
(2) Is safe for the full range of expected human consumption at these dilution ranges, without known or anticipated adverse health effects over a lifetime, including for infants, children, the elderly, and other populations afforded equal protection.

This bill requires public water system operators to require, as a condition of purchase, that manufacturers of specific products water system operators add or intend to add to the public drinking water for purposes of treating or affecting the bodily functions of consumers must provide and annually update a list of studies relating to their products and identify the geographic origin of their products.

This bill requires water system operators to make all information provided by manufacturers or responsible parties in the chain of product delivery pursuant to this bill readily accessible to the public. The full text of this bill lists product information that each public water system operator will be required to make available to the public.

To assure that public water system operators have selected and are administering water additive products intended to treat or affect the bodily functions of consumers that meet the requirements of state law and rules and regulations, this bill requires water system operators, as a condition of purchase, to obtain a copy of the manufacturer’s product declaration in force at the time of contract.

This bill requires that public water system operators select and add to the public drinking water only these products intended to treat and affect the bodily functions of consumers that meet, at a minimum, the applicable published American Water Works Association (AWWA) standard for a product’s specific chemical classification. In order to assure fulfillment of AWWA standards, this bill requires public water system operators to obtain from the manufacturer, or other responsible party in the chain of delivery, an independent analysis by an ANSI or NSF International certified laboratory determining the content, and specific concentrations of each contaminant, of each shipment of the product, to be correlated with the manufacturer’s product declaration. The batch analyses on each delivery of products, must be maintained and made immediately accessible to the public by the water system operator.

Under this bill, a chemical manufacturer or responsible entity in the chain of delivery of the product person who knowingly omits or falsifies information required pursuant to this bill commits a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine only of up to $500. Each violation of this bill will be considered a separate offense.



Any and all additives to drinking water should be thoroughly tested. No additives should be employed which have any adverse effect on anyone. Water should be as close to “just water” as is practical.

All contaminants should be addressed. The reason why we focus on “fluoride” is that the commercial grade fluorosilicic acid used contains all these other contaminants.

In discussing this issue, it is important that we focus on contaminants that are known and believed by the public to be harmful. Lead and arsenic are the two best nominees. Everyone knows and believes them to be harmful.

Third on the is commercial grade fluorosilicic acid.

Not “fluoride”. We should quit referring to “fluoride”. So-called fluoride has been given a shiny patina by advertisers. We should use more exact terms: fluorsilicic acid, sodium fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, aluminum fluoride, and calcium fluoride. Naturally occurring fluoride is calcium fluoride, lethal only through long term use. Fluoridation started in 1945 with sodium fluoride, which came from aluminum production and was championed by Aloca. By 1950 industrial grade fluorosilicic acid was substituted. It was cheaper and more abundant, and even more contaminated than sodium fluoride.

Industrial grade fluorosilicic acid contains the lead and arsenic and all the other contaminants, and so it is often made the focus. It is the vector for the other contaminants. But it is not the only contaminant.

Even if the use of industrial grade fluorosilicic acid is stopped, we have failed if we do not prevent injections of other contaminants. And the contaminant right around the corner is lithium. Adding lithium has already been tried.

The way to add lithium is simply to recycle sewer water – which contains lithium. Lithium comes from brakes and other commercial sources. The so called “toilet-to-tap” scheme is a a round about way to add lithium to drinking water, by retaining the lithium already there.

The reverse osmosis technology used by San Diego in their toilet-to-tap filtration plant cannot remove the tiny lithium atom. The toilet-to-tap plant in San Diego is nearly ready to turn on.

If commercial grade fluorosilicic acid is banned as a drinking water, but lithium is allowed, we will not have not done our job.

The focus of the Safe Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act was that waters should be as free from contaminants as possible. We must be “protectors of the well”.

The big opposition to our safe water effort is from the dollar fixated chemical companies who would have to change their dollar fixated ways and focus not on selling as many chemicals as possible but on selling as few chemicals as possible.

Anything that can be done non-chemically, organically, should be done that way.

The debate is not just over industrial grade fluorosilicic acid. It is over becoming a non-chemical, organic nation.

This is one of the areas in which we should amend our Constitution. Pure water should be declared to be a right in the Constitution, along with being as non-chemical and as organic as possible.



  1. Richard Hudon

    @Jeff Green

    Thank you Jeff for all of your hard work and your dedication to getting it right. Tough the laws in Canada are very different from those in the States, a number of things stand out in the manner you are waging this battle.

    In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, (my country’s capital City), we are proceeding with all due care to get our Councillors knowledgeable about the issue before proceeding to an all out municipal Council accountability session, with appropriate presentations of the known facts about adverse health effects, the science, the morality, the ethics, the costs and the environmental impact involved by the continued implementation of fluoridation.

    The proponents of fluoridation have already polarized the subject in the minds of our City Councillors by much political interference from the Federal, Provincial and local medico-dental bureaucracy. A nearly insurmountable wall of resistance has thus been set up where Councillors are in fear of expressing any support for cessation.

    However, our growing team of lay and professional advocates for cessation is slowly softening the target and will eventually cause a cascading of support over time as we adjust our tactics and strategies to counter the lies and deceit planted by the opposition. The benefits of cessation will become so overwhelming that they will have no choice but to withdraw fluoridation as an equitable, financially viable, morally and ethically supportable health measure.

    It will become obvious to all Ottawa City Councillors that they risk their next re-election on this issue alone, if we play our cards well. No council seat will be safe, because of the actions of the proponents being carefully counteracted in this battle. I am quite confident that patience, persistence and truth will win out in the end.

    Your efforts are a beacon of light on how to wage a successful battle in the war for sensible results.

  2. Richard Sauerheber

    If the wording states a requirement for ‘safety over a lifetime’, then this is an impossible goal to achieve for anyone proposing to add chemicals into one’s drinking water. Something would only be able to be approved after say 75 years of testing for one to conclude it is safe for a lifetime. Therefore, the claim is correct, that if passed it would effectively halt fluoridation, lithium-ation and statin-ation of water supplies (for 75 years).
    On the other hand, does discussion of this fact need to be stopped and kept secret, to help ensure chances the legislation can pass? I don’t know. The legislation in New Hampshire which proposes to directly ban fluoride injections is being discussed all over the country already also. In that case there are no complex nuances, and discussions of it, being in the public domain, one would think would not jeopardize it–who knows?
    Squelching public discussion of matters of public import is risky. Although it may in some cases make it simpler to get legislation to pass, nevertheless the same accountability demanded of chemical promoters should also be required of those who decide to pass any particular bill in the first place. It is lack of transparency that led to passage of the illegal CA state ‘fluoride’ bill, a meaningless term since it is impossible to purchase ‘fluoride’ unaccompanied with other elements, and yet the bill is still used to this date as an excuse to force citizens to take industrial chemicals internally. Whether wars to protect public water go on behind the scenes with successful guerilla warfare, or in the open public eye that could warn the enemy of an impending move, it is the discovered facts, not opinions or claims, that really matter. People can change their minds in a paper war. But yes facts need to be stated with tact or else they might be ignored anyway out of spite. Case in point, industrial fluoride ingestion has been known as a false useless practice for over 60 years, and yet we’re still here dealing with it.

  3. Kurt Irmischer

    It is an exciting event but….it needs to be handled with aplomb. If it is handled with indiscriminate, bombastic, in your face city commissioner style, it will backfire. Anybody that wishes to make hay with this needs to talk with Jeff Green, who wrote the legislation, to understand the subtle nuances. Otherwise, you will be a “Bull in the china shop” and destroy more than you can imagine=not just for Tenn. but for everyone trying to get safe water. This is a sophisticated tool-learn how to make it work for you-call Jeff—or don’t use it now, until the job is done. Then call Jeff!

  4. Lorna Rosenstein

    To anyone who thinks this is something to take to their city council, Stop. Slow down. There is a huge process here that Mr. Deal and others appear to either not understand or they aren’t really interested in getting substantial, long-term solutions. There are no shortcuts and no easy fixes. The title of this article is not only inaccurate but underlines a very real problem. When individuals and organizations continue to position themselves as us versus them, anti-fluoride versus pro-fluoride they do everyone who is trying to bring a reasonable, rational discussion to the table a great disservice. Suggesting this legislation will stop fluoride implies there is a simple, easy fix that requires nothing more than cutting and pasting other peoples carefully crafted language and trying to fit it in anywhere people want to ‘fight fluoride’ This is a different issue and there are subtleties, which are being ignored. There is legislation in a number of States. Are you planning on messing up every one of them by your chest pounding? No one is asking for anti-fluoride dogma and I doubt anyone appreciates having you broadcast their efforts to everyone with an ax to grind. There might be a very good reason you aren’t in the loop from the beginning.

  5. Jeff Green

    From Jeff Green, Leader of Safe Water:

    As the person who drafted this legislation for legislative authors of the bill in both houses in Tennessee, I can guarantee that anyone’s careful review of the text and the summary of the bill will reveal that the scope if the bill is broad.

    Authors of this bill are very clear that this bill is intended to establish a due diligence process of accountability, transparency and full disclosure, compliance with law, and conformance with industry standards. It does not project any specific outcome, because the very nature of the bill is to let the facts declare themselves, and to avoid the advocacy, endorsements, and rhetoric from all sides of controversy.

  6. Joy Warren

    I’m writing from the UK. In England 5.5 million of us are fluoridated so we have a justifiable opinion of the practice. I would like to point out that the fluoridating acid which you use contains small amounts of arsenic. Arsenic, if it’s inorganic arsenic, is a carcinogen which causes bladder cancer and skin lesions. The level of arsenic which is added to the water supply is not the issue, as far as I’m concerned. It’s the unwitting addition of arsenic at whatever level which is of concern. How can it be that it is ever sanctioned that arsenic is added to water which has previously been treated in order to remove impurities/contaminants? What sick sort of policy is it that allows this to happen?

    A government committee in the UK has decreed that wherever technically practicable, arsenic should be removed from the drinking water supply. Basically, any amount is too much. In fluoridated areas, it is technically practicable to remove the arsenic – just stop adding the fluoridating acid in the first place!

    The margin for error for fluoride is very small. In the UK 1.5ppm is tops and 1ppm is the target. Levels sometimes reach 1.1ppm. With arsenic, the maximum allowable is 10ppb (parts per billion) while at times in the UK, the level reaches 9ppb. This is an even narrower margin of error.

    Why are they playing fast and loose with our health?

  7. Ellen Corke

    Great news. I’m not in Tennessee, but I’m taking a copy of this with me today when I speak to our city’s Water Board! Thank you.

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