Fluoride in Morocco

Edward G. Robles, Jr.
erobles@hotmail.com, erobles@main.nc.us

Of course, you will understand that I have not been to Morocco since 1960, but I cannot feature the situation changing, except perhaps for the worse. If any scientist wants to mount a study, and has the money to do it, I would suggest a trip to Ain Sebaa, Morocco, a suburb of Dar el Baida (Casablanca). It is a coastal town, and there is an almost constant on-shore breeze. At the southern edge of the town is a giant SUPERPHOSPHATES plant, whose effluents, I am certain, have never been controlled. Looked at from the air, for a distance of about three miles inland, is a "Fan," starting at the plant and spreading out, of 'brown.' On the ground, it is evident that not a blade of grass grows in the area; flowers die; trees are stunted or dead. It is, to coin a phrase, "a vast wasteland." I cannot imagine that the people are any too healthy, but their M&M could be compared with those of surrounding areas who are not downwind of the plant. Soil analyses in the area have shown a high percentage of soluble Fluoride. Why? To produce "Superphosphates," Phosphate rock is boiled with concentrated Sulfuric Acid; Calcium Sulfate precipitates (Phosphate rock is largely apatite) and the Hydrofluoric and fluosilicic acids are vaporized, and go out as stack effluents, contaminating the surrounding countryside. Then lime is added to the phosphoric acid that remains in carefully measured quantities to make a phosphate fertilizer of guaranteed analysis. Superphosphates are a major export of Morocco, and account for a large portion of their foreign exchange. It is ironic that the area downwind of a fertilizer factory would be, in essence, lifeless, but that's how it is. Check it out - you might even use the internet to find out what things are like in the Ain Sebaa area now.

Chemical Industry in Morocco