The Des Moines Water Works has added fluoride to the drinking water for more than 50 years. It stops tooth decay, but critics say it’s toxic.
Water Works General Manager Bill Stowe is well aware of the controversy, and so is longtime Des Moines resident Jeri Kemple.
Bill Stowe said, “We just think it’s a healthy exercise to go out and ask for public comment.”
Jeri Kemple said, “It’s added to our tap water without choice. It’s not something we can take out once it’s in.”
Kemple runs an eco-friendly home cleaning service and is worried about reports of fluoride and developmental delays for infants.
“A lot of families in our community rely on tap water to make infant formula and it’s just harmful for infants,” she said.
What may be unknown to the public is that fluoride is actually in most river water at about 0.4 parts per million. Des Moines Water Works add their own fluoride to make it about 0.7 parts per million. The cost is about $120,000 a year.
Stowe says Des Moines Water Works “reduced the dosage three or four years ago and that’s certainly a possibility there.”
Stowe went onto add that public health officials still recommend adding fluoride to water.
The comment page will be open until Nov. 30, and Des Moines Water Works officials will decide where to go from there.