It’s the middle of the night and you wake up at precisely 2:33 a.m. You know the time because this happens every single night on the minute. By your own fault, you are dehydrated, and your body is begging for a cold glass of water. Keeping all the lights off as to not wake up your roommate, you guzzle an entire glass in what seems like 10 seconds. Still, you’re parched. Another one goes down and you finally feel satisfied, for now. You frantically grab a water bottle that should have been washed a few uses ago and fill it up. Bringing it back to the bedside table, you vow to drink more water during the day. To no surprise, the pattern continues for months until warmer weather approaches.
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Most people can relate to this story. What most people can’t relate too is the moment they realized that the water they’re drinking is doing more harm than good. Noa Bunting (Psi Zeta, ‘19), however, can remember the exact moment it hit him.
“This one guy I follow mentioned it briefly on his podcast and I started looking up one of the studies he was referencing. When I started doing more research on my own, I realized a lot of what he was saying was true and there’s a lot he didn’t say that helped substantiate how bad it is. It is very upsetting” says Bunting.
The majority of his childhood was spent drinking the same water that is linked to damaging IQ numbers over time. 64 out of 72 studies claim that the amount of fluoride that Americans put in their water leads to a lower IQ; the exposure of fluoride in early years can severely damage the development of a child’s brain. The chilling part to Bunting was the accessibility of the volume at which fluoride is added to the drinking water in Carmel, IN. Compared to the studies which claim that amount is harmful to the persons drinking it, Bunting knew the city was unaware of their negative impact.
“I got into the hyper-fluoride interest state. And I decided, ‘Hey, I’m going to go down to my mom’s for Easter, maybe I should see if I can schedule a meeting and actually do something about it while I’m there.’ It was as simple as sending out that email and getting to know the Water Utilities people” says Bunting.
With copies of relevant research in his hands, he walked into a meeting with the six representatives who are responsible for putting fluoride in the water. During their roundtable discussion, he touched on the studies that support his point and used direct examples from the Carmel Water Utilities’ report.
The team echoed his concern and explained that they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They’re required to add fluoride into the water supply but are aware of the harmful effects their actions are causing. His next move will be contacting the Mayor, James Brainard, to discuss how fluoride in drinking water can be eradicated from the water in Carmel, IN.
While finishing up his last semester of school, Bunting will complete an internship that aligns with his passion for preserving the health and safety of community members. The water fluoride project will be ongoing and pursued as the Mayors time permits. Following receiving his degree, Bunting hopes to become an elected official with the help of networking with the nearly 200,000 members of Lambda Chi Alpha.
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