CREDIT TO TWO RIVERS TRIBUNE
AND REPORTER KRISTAN KORNS
The Hoopa Valley (Klamath & Trinity River Communities) quietly followed the lead of France, Sweden, Belgium and dozens of other nations from around the world when it stopped putting fluoride into the water supply earlier this year.
The new Tribal Council voted unanimously for the change just a few weeks into their terms.
Because of hundreds of new studies that link high levels of fluoride with diabetes, male infertility, some cancers, and problems with brain development, more and more local communities in the U.S. are choosing to leave fluoride out of their drinking water. Only 2 out of 7 neighboring water districts add fluoride.
Councilmember Marjorie Colegrove said, “People know it’s not good for you.” Hoopa Tribal Chairperson Danielle Vigil-Masten said, “We said, ‘why would we pay to poison our own people?’ and voted to stop putting fluoride in the water.”
In the meantime, leftover twenty-pound bags of fluoride are stacked on a wooden pallet next to the water treatment plant’s two main microfilters in Hoopa.
Each bag is marked with a skull and crossbones, along with the word “toxic” (毒物) in English and Chinese.
Murphy Lott, the senior water treatment operator for the local Public Utilities District (PUD), looked at the bags and shook his head. “The whole thing about a treatment plant is you’re supposed to be taking the nasty stuff out of the water, not putting a toxic chemical back in.”