A recent chemical spill at a water treatment facility in Rock Island, Ill., required the assistance of an emergency relief crew decked in the very same type of hazmat suits being worn by workers at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant in Japan. Except instead of radiation, the leaked chemical at the water plant was actually hydrofluorosilicic acid, a chemical fluoride component commonly added to drinking supplies for the stated purpose of preventing cavities. This fluoride chemical is so hazardous that it actually began to burn through parking lot cement in Rock Island before emergency crews arrived on the scene.
According to reports from WQAD News 8 in Moline, a tanker truck delivering the fluoride began to overflow, leaking the chemical directly onto the parking lot where it spilled down towards the street. And before emergency crews arrived on the scene in full hazmat suits and gas masks, the fluoride had actually begun to burn a hole right through the concrete.
“It’s a corrosive agent that the water treatment plant uses,” said Rock Island assistant fire chief Jeff Yerkey, concerning the spilled fluoride. He explained that the crews had to use earthen berms, dirt, sand, and commercial broom equipment to stop the leak. Yerkey also added that there was no “inhalation hazard” from the incident, and no evacuation of local residents was required.
What is truly amazing about the incident is that this very same fluoride, which fire chief Yerkey specifically called a “corrosive agent,” is deliberately added to drinking water supplies across the nation. This highly-toxic chemical that, when spilled, requires similar protective equipment as does a radioactive fallout situation, is being added to millions of Americans drinking water supplies every single day in the name of promoting health.
In reality, the events surrounding this fluoride spill are more than enough proof for any rationally-minded person that adding this poison to water supplies is a bad idea. Anything that requires the use of a protective suit and gas mask in order to handle — and that burns a hole directly through concrete — simply cannot be good for the body when ingested.