It’s now up to a Marshall County judge to decide if Arab returns fluoride to its water system.
The case went to court this week after the city of Arab filed suit against the board for removing fluoride last August saying it’s a public health hazard.
The city had approximately 20 health experts willing to testify to the benefits of fluoride for residents.
We did some checking and found not all water districts in the area add fluoride. Some cite the costs, dangers, and its availability in other products.
Court hearings concluded in over the issue of fluoridating municipal water.
The city of Arab is at odds with its water board for their decision to take the mineral used to reduce tooth decay out of water. But not everybody believes it’s a benefit.
“Within two years of the water fluoridation I started having problems with my stomach,” said Arab resident Melissa Thrower.
Thrower believes fluoride has an effect on her unlike others who feel it doesn’t affect them. She’s hoping fluoride isn’t introduced back into the Arab system.
But Arab isn’t alone.
Six systems in DeKalb, Jackson and Marshall counties do not add fluoride to drinking water. Those include the system of Douglas in Marshall County, the systems of Stevenson and Bridgeport in Jackson County, and the systems of DeKalb-Jackson, Valley Head, and Crossville in Jackson County although Crossville does purchase additional water from other systems that do put fluoride into their water.
At the DeKalb-Jackson Water Supply District, they’ve never added fluoride to their water.
Manager Tommy Bryant said they made that decision because of the availability of fluoride.
“Pretty much all toothpaste and mouthwash contain fluoride,” said Bryant.
Bryant said fluoride is a concentrate hazardous chemical that comes to water plants and by not having it lessens the risks associated with handling and adding it to the water system.
“If you have a chemical feed pump or something go wrong it can be toxic to the body if you over feed that stuff,” said Bryant.
The town of Douglas stopped putting fluoride in their water just a few years ago.
They said the cost went up but also noted that a fluoride leak caused damage to the concrete below.