Saturday: Another Group Joins Fluoridation Struggle
The great fluoride debate isn't likely to end anytime soon.
A second group of fluoride opponents has surfaced in Watertown. Mothers Against Fluoride seeks to have the city stop adding fluoride to the water supply, something that's been done since 1962.
Fluoridation has been widely held to be a safe, effective means of promoting dental health for decades. It enjoys broad support among dentists.
However, from the beginning fluoridation has also had its critics, primarily for health reasons; in Watertown, those critics began to surface last fall when the city announced plans to spend $70,000 on new fluoridation equipment.
"I think a lot of people are stuck in the mindframe 'Oh, they've been doing it for a long time, it must be all right," said Christine Davenport, from Mothers Against Fluoride.
Davenport lives in LaFargeville but works in Watertown, and says the health implications of fuoride worry her.
"In a day and age when there's so much autism and ADHD and cancer, childhood cancer is going like crazy, we need to look at what are the system long term effects of these chemicals," she said.
In response to the groups - there are two so far - the city is organizing a committee to study fluoridation.
However, city water superintendent Mike Sligar remains a staunch advocate of fluoridation.
"Show me a community that doesn't have enough (fluoride) and I'll show you a community that has a high level of...diseases of the teeth," Sligar said Friday.