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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, August 18, 2017

USA - Need fluoride added to your drinking water? Some cities go without it

Many of us have grown up with fluoridated water, and most health officials say it’s good for us.
But the fluoride debate has been reignited by Boynton Beach’s delays in having fluoridated water back on tap.
When the city of Boynton Beach recently completed its new water plant, it sparked an outcry from some dentists, who noticed the city still hasn’t resumed fluoride treatments.
Boynton Utilities halted the practice in early 2015 to make way for a $30 million water-plant upgrade. And the city says it won’t start fluoride use until as early as next year, once all construction is complete.
The sooner the better, says Frank Carberry, a Highland Beach dentist whose patients include some Boynton residents. “Fluoride is the key” to curbing tooth decay, he said. “It’s one of the basic elements of the body’s defense system against cavities.”
Johnny Johnson, a former pediatric dentist and president of the nonprofit American Fluoridation Society, recently contacted Boynton to also urge the city to reintroduce fluoride soon. “You drink the water, it does the job,” he said. “This is a nonpartisan health issue. It’s for the health of the public.”
Grand Rapids, Mich., became the first city to fluoridate its drinking water in 1945, and other cities adopted the practice in the following years, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.
But people have debated fluoride for decades. Opponents of fluoridation have cited concerns over government’s involvement in their drinking water or worries that too much of the mineral could lead to health problems.
Janet Cimorelli, 73, a nutritionist, said she considers herself lucky to live in Boca Raton, a city that rejected a fluoridation proposal.
In 1999, the City Council decided against asking voters if they wanted fluoride, and Cimorelli was glad to hear it. That year, she told city leaders of concerns that fluoridation poses a serious health risk.
“It’s medicating a mass population that does not necessarily need fluoride,” she said Thursday. “From time to time, I call the city of Boca to be reassured that they have not changed their minds and that they’re not adding fluoride to the water.”
Public health officials say the evidence is solid that fluoridated drinking water helps protect teeth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends fluoride as a preventative measure.
The Florida Department of Health says more that three-quarters of Floridians served by community water systems receive fluoridated water.
Most South Florida cities add it. According to the Florida Department of Health, almost everyone in Broward County gets fluoridated water. Delray Beach has added fluoride to its water since the City Commission decided on it back in the 1990s.
The town of Wellington is the most recent municipality to resume fluoridating its water, reintroducing it to the water system in May after going three years without it. Council members discussed for hours whether the town should fluoridate before approving it.
But some cities in Palm Beach County didn’t get on board with fluoridation, including Boca Raton, which serves 130,000 customers; Lake Worth, which serves about 40,000; and the town of Lantana, serving about 9,400.
“We’re just the water provider, so we’re responsible for providing good, clean water,” said Chris Helfrich, Boca’s utility director. “Twenty-five years ago, the City Council made a policy decision not to add fluoride to the water, and we’ve kept with the policy ever since.”
Dave Freudenberg, 72, served on the Boca City Council when fluoridation became a fiery issue there. In 1999, the City Council heard hours of public testimony for and against adding fluoride. But the Council voted against submitting the question of fluoridation to voters. Freudenberg cast the lone vote in favor.
“I thought that was the most undemocratic thing to do,” he said. “People have a right to choice.”
Still, Freudenberg is convinced fluoride can be a big help. He and his wife got cavities while growing up in Cincinnati, when the water wasn’t fluoridated, he said. They raised their four kids in Iowa, where there was fluoridated water, and none got cavities, he said.
Just about all of the state’s water contains some fluoride, and the majority of South Florida’s cities boost the natural level of fluoride in compliance with state guidelines.
Natural fluoride levels may vary between 0.2 and 0.4 parts per million. The recommended fluoride level for fighting cavities is 0.7 parts per million.
Boynton recently completed a $30 million water plant upgrade, resulting in purer, better-quality water, city officials said. The fluoride originally was meant to be absent for only 16 months but delays grew from construction projects............

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