Dr. Allen Heimann, medical officer of health with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, is urging Amherstburg to keep fluoride in its drinking water.
Heimann appeared before town council Monday night and stated that the Center for Disease Control has called the fluoridation of water as one of the greatest accomplishments for public health of the 20th century. Heimann said numerous health agencies support fluoride in publicly treated water adding that it is safe, efficient, economic and equitable.
“Fluoride in the water supply is in compliance with the Municipal Drinking Water Licenses issued by the Ministry of the Environment,” said Heimann.
Fluoride in water helps the public have better dental hygiene, he added, noting that the Health Unit spends $2-million in its annual dental programs. Those programs see 15,000 children screened with 17 per cent of those children screened qualifying for treatment.
Heimann added that 33 per cent of people in the area do not have dental insurance.
The original recommendation was to “re-introduce” fluoride into the water supply but Mayor Wayne Hurst quickly corrected Heimann.
“Fluoridation has never ceased in the town of Amherstburg,” said Hurst.
Dr. Charles Frank, a colleague of Heimann, noted that fluoridation of water has been occurring for over 60 years and also encouraged the continuation of such a practice in Amherstburg.
Frank said people of all walks of life benefit from fluoride in drinking water and he also pointed out the benefits to people’s dental health. He said he was “strongly in support” of keeping fluoride in Amherstburg’s drinking water.
“Fluoride is safe to consume at recommended levels,” he added.