Last month, Portlanders again rejected fluoridation – for the fourth time since 1956. Whether for health concerns, environmental concerns, ethical principles or some other reason, voters have made their views plain. Surely, the city has more important things to do than keep trying to push for mass medication.
Meantime, two cities much closer to home – Davis and Woodland – are considering fluoridation as part of their Surface Water Project now in development. According to the Sacramento Bee, this project “will draw from the Sacramento River and include a joint treatment facility.”
[Yolo County supervisor Don] Saylor wrote a nonbinding resolution in May supporting the movement to add fluoride to drinking water in Davis and Woodland once the Surface Water Project is completed. The resolution sailed through the Board of Supervisors on a 4-1 vote, with only board Chairman Duane Chamberlain voting against.
Suffice it to say, citizen opposition has already formed.
Alan Pryor leads a Davis-based group, Davis Citizens Against Fluoridation, which has taken to the streets and to social media to oppose fluoride efforts.
“Fluoride is not a benign chemical. It would go down drains, into our parks and wetlands,” Pryor told the city’s Water Advisory Committee in May. “It’s an extremely inefficient way to deliver medication to the public. We can do better than fluoridating water.”
Pryor derisively calls fluoridation a “drug therapy” that contaminates water supplies and can lead to fluorosis – damage done to tooth enamel and bones by overexposure to fluoride.
Pryor acknowledges the public health issue of dental access, and anticipating the argument that fluoridation is especially important for low income households, he proposes a 1% excise tax on water bills, with the money going to provide actual dental care for those in need.
Actual dental care?! Now there’s a novelty!
And it has the virtue of directly addressing a real problem.
Image by Pam Broviak , via Flickr