City council is considering removing fluoride from our drinking water, after a vote doing just that was deferred for the time being Monday night.
City councillors want Eastern Ontario Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Paul Roumeliotis to return to city hall and provide more information on hydrofluorosilicic acid – the compound that is used by the city as the source of fluoride in drinking water.
Councillors Glen Grant and David Murphy put forward a motion Monday night that outlined removing the fluroride from our water.
But the majority of councillors weren’t ready to make that move without more information from Roumeliotis on the dangers of the acid. The doctor and Canada’s top dentist were at city hall weeks ago to advocate for the continued use of fluoride.
“We already listened to his presentation and absorbed all that informantion,” said Grant, who spoke recently with a retired municipal worker who used to handle to corrosive hydrofluorosilicic acid. “He said if you could do something for the worker in that building, get rid of that acid.”
Coun. Andre Rivette jumped on those comments, and suggested Grant was being a little dramatic.
“That’s a big issue,” said Rivette. “We’ve got to watch it when we make statements that we’re putting our employees in danger.”
The city has added fluoride to drinking water since 1962. It costs about $50,000 annually to do it, and Grant and Murphy want to save the money.
The city draws its water from the St. Lawrence River. It is purified via the use of a coagulant and chlorine in order to make it fit for human consumption.
Hydrofluorosilicic acid is the most common source of fluoride for the water treatment industry, says a city report, adding it is important to note that the addition of this acid is not part of the treatment process.
The province leaves it up to individual municipalities to decide on their own whether to add fluoride to drinking water – but it does mandate a specific limit of the chemical if a municipality uses it.
Fluoride Free Cornwall has argued against the use in our drinking water.
It’s unknown when Roumeliotis will be able to return to city hall to furhter discuss this issue.