BOZEMAN- The City of Bozeman has added fluoride to its drinking water since 1953, but recently concerned citizens formed a group to try to force the city to remove what they see as poison from our drinking water.
William Wolf, a member of the concerned citizen group says, “the Gallatin River actually has a natural amount of fluoride equal to what is required, so why are we adding more?”
Wolf is one of about 200 people, so far, who have signed a petition that was submitted to the Gallatin County Elections Office Wednesday, in an attempt to get the issue placed on a special election ballot.
“It’s discouraging to think that the city thinks it has the power to do this to us, yet it doesn’t have the power to force us to inoculate ourselves or to force us to take medications,” said Wolf.
Bozeman City Manager, Chris Kukulski says for every dollar the city spends on putting fluoride in the water, $38 is saved in oral health costs.
“There’s a cost associated with the City of Bozeman. It’s about $35,000 a year, and those same numbers would indicate that there’s over a $1,000,000 in savings that happen as a result of that investment,” he explained.
Dr. Jane Gillette says that all major health organizations recommend community water fluoridation. “Water fluoridation is recognized as one of the top 10 public health measures ever across the entire world,” said Gillette.
About one part per million of the city’s water is fluoride, which Gillette says reduces oral disease by 20% to 40%. “One of the best ways we have to protect our children, our elderly, and vulnerable populations against dental disease, is community water fluoridation.”
The Gallatin City-County Health Department listened to public comment on the issue for about an hour Thursday morning, but ultimately decided to send a letter to the city stating they are in favor of continuing to put fluoride in Bozeman’s water.