Fairview Town council has returned to the discussion of taking fluoridation out of the town treatment plant.
Director of Public Works Garry Leathem said that on one occasion the necessary tests took 10 hours to complete because things didn’t go well. He explained that the water treatment plant has to do two tests within a certain period of time and the results both have to be within a certain range of each other or they have to be done again.
CAO Larry Davidson asked him to confirm that if fluoridation was taken out of the treatment plant it would change the plant’s designation from a level three to a high level two plant. The designation change would mean the person in charge of the plant would not have to have quite as much training to run it.
Coun. Tim Schindel suggested that the fact the incidence of tooth decay is going up shows fluoridation is not as effective as it might be. Coun. Tony Prybysh rebutted that saying the rise in tooth decay has more to do with the availability of concentrated juice and bottled water and people exposing their teeth to more sugars.
The only benefit to the town of removing fluoridation would be financial and Prybysh suggested it would be at the cost of dental health as the alternatives to fluoridated water to help protect teeth are much more expensive.
He added that while the idea of medicating the public through the drinking water may not appeal to them, nobody seems to worry about table salt which contains iodine (to prevent goiter – enlarged thyroid gland).
CAO Davidson told council that Red Deer is presently debating the question and said that city is having two opposing experts come in to present their arguments pro and con on fluoridation and suggested Fairview could do the same.
Coun. Ann Grayson said she would be in favour of doing so if the presentations were made open to the public and not just for council, which Davidson agreed would be a way to get more input from the public.
Coun. Prybysh suggested that neither of the speakers has any connections to government agencies nor decision making bodies and it would be good to have some representation of that side. Council agreed to have CAO Davidson look into getting the two speakers come to Fairview.