Community Concerns Over Fluoride in Drinking Water

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Article courtesy of Danielle Staub | July 14, 2015 | WDBJ 7 | Shared as educational material

MARTINSVILLE, Va. –

Should there be fluoride in public drinking water? Martinsville currently puts fluoride in its water. Tuesday night the city council held a public hearing about just that.

“I don’t think it’s right for people that have already paid for their water and have to go out and buy expensive filtration systems, buy bottled water buy water from different sources when they already paid for what should be clean water delivered to them,” Community member Joe Martin said.

Martin says it’s about medical informed consent and freedom. When the fluoride is already in the city’s drinking water, people are taking a medication whether they want to or not.

“There is not enough research that has been on the negative health effects, therefore it has not been proven safe, the safety is in question,” Martin said.

Martin along with others, brought the issue up at the Martinsville City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“This is not sodium fluoride that is being added to Martinsville City water system. This is not a naturally mined fluoride. This is hydroFluorosilicic acid it is the by product of aluminum and fertilizer companies,” Martin said.

Taking the fluoride out of the water would save the city around $15, 000 per year.

City Council Member Gene Teague says after discussing the issue in April, council decided to set it aside from the budget meeting and hold a public hearing.

“It’s not a financial decision. It’s more about what’s the right thing to do from a health stand point. And that’s the way I would approach that decision,” Teague said.

Teague says while going through this process with council, he’s learned more about fluoride and the good things it does for the community.

“Positive impact on our older generation, as we age and our teeth start getting weakened and fluoride can help,” Teague said.

Teague says taking it out of the water may hurt those in poverty.

“Who may not have access to dental care, may not have access to all the healthy habits that would promote a cavity free or a reduced cavity environment,” Teague said.

Martin disagrees. “There are options for those that are poor, and to receive fluoride, if they so choose.”

City Council said Tuesday’s meeting was all about presenting both sides of the issue in a public forum. No final decision was made about the issue. Council members will vote if a motion is made at the next meeting on July 28th.

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