For the past year, officials in Potsdam have pondered whether to continue adding fluoride to the village’s water supply.
Hydrofluosilicic acid vapors created through this process have eroded the equipment that makes up this system. As members of the village Board of Trustees have reviewed plans on how to proceed, they’ve heard from some residents opposed to this long-standing practice.
This is unfortunate as fluoridated water is credited by medical authorities with improving dental health for seven decades. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that fluoridated water continues to play a vital role in preventing tooth decay.
An engineering report from Environmental Design and Research presented trustees with several options for addressing the problem. They may vote on this issue at their Aug. 20 meeting.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends having 0.7 milligrams per liter of fluoride in water, which reduces demineralization of tooth enamel and increases remineralization rates in the early stages of tooth decay. The village’s water naturally has 0.2 milligrams per liter, so 0.4 milligrams per liter of fluoride needs to be pushed through valves, pumps and drums and finally into the water supply,” according to a story published Sunday by the Watertown Daily Times. “Environmental Design and Research offered three options: doing nothing, replacing equipment with more of the same, or using a different technique known as a sodium fluoride saturation system. The latter would be the most expensive option, but would ensure lower maintenance costs and less acute health impacts. Also with the new technique, less vapor would escape, thus requiring fewer repairs.”
Trustees could choose a fourth option, which would be to discontinue adding fluoride to the water supply. We urge them to keep fluoridating the village’s water by approving the plan to spend some more now and save on needed repairs down the road.
Opponents of fluoridated water have attributed many evils to this practice. But every credible health organization, particularly in the field of dentistry, has favored continuing to add fluoride to water. Experts have pointed out that claims made of the ill effects have lacked sufficient evidence.
Fluoridated water has done wonders for Americans, and Potsdam officials should maintain the status quo. When a process has been proven to be this effective, altering it based on fear-mongering would be absurd. Potsdam should update its equipment, reduce the need for future repairs and help residents keep their teeth as healthy as possible.