SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane City Council members are debating whether fluoride should be added to the water all of us drink and shower in.
The idea has been shot down by voters three times already. The City Council is considering an emergency order, which would leave voters out of the decision.
Both sides agree this is a matter of public health. Those who support fluoridation say it’s the easiest way to prevent dental problems. Those against it say fluoride causes more health problems, and the City Council has no business putting it in the public water supply.
The CDC lists it as one of the top 10 public health achievements of the last century.
Nationwide, 70% of public water supplies are fluoridated, including New York City, Los Angeles, and Seattle. But not Spokane.
Health experts say adding low levels to the water will decrease tooth decay by 25% in children and adults.
A local dentist was just one of many people supporting the idea during Thursday night’s virtual forum. There was also a fair share of people strongly opposed to the idea.
According to the CDC, very high levels of fluoride can cause skeletal defects, thyroid problems, and slightly lower IQ scores. However, city water officials say public drinking water would never reach those levels.
Devices which add fluoride to the system have several safeguards in place. Water samples would be taken each day. An independent lab would also verify results once a month.
If council members vote in the emergency order, it could take up to two years for the city’s water system to be fluoridated.
They will vote on the emergency order during the September 14th meeting, and more people will have a change to speak. An emergency order requires five ‘yes’ votes. If that happens, Mayor Woodward would not be able to veto it.
*Original article online at https://www.kxly.com/discussion-over-adding-fluoride-to-spokanes-water-gets-mixed-response/