Fluoridating the municipal water supply got another public hearing in Brattleboro, the last forum on the issue before voters take on the issue Nov. 7.
Both supporters and opponents of the practice, common in most municipal water systems for decades, packed the Gibson-Aiken Center for the meeting.
“I live in Vermont for a very good reason: clean air, clean water, clean
everything,” said select board member Daryl Pillsbury, who said he didn’t like the idea of adding something to the public drinking water supply that not everyone supported or needed.
As far as his own family, said Pillsbury, his children receive the topical
fluoride treatment at school.
“I’m leaning toward ‘no,’ ” he said to shouts and applause from the equally divided audience.
Brattleboro has been grappling with the fluoridation issue for decades. Voters will go to the polls on Nov. 7 to vote on whether to add fluoride to the town’s drinking water supply. The vote is only advisory. The final decision rests with the town select board.
The Brattleboro supporters of fluoride, lead by the Vermont Department of Health and virtually all of Brattleboro’s dentists, asked Dr. Myron Allukian Jr., the director of oral health for the Boston Public Health Commission, the dental director for the city of Boston and a nationally recognized expert, to speak.
“When I was called and told the issue and the concerns, I said to myself, ‘12,000 people still debating fluoridation in the year 2000?’ I said, ‘I can’t believe this,”‘ said Allukian, a past president of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Work Group on Fluoridation and Dental Health.
“It’s like living in a community that doesn’t have piped water, or doesn’t have lighting, or doesn’t have sewerage, or doesn’t have public transportation, or people don’t have automobile licenses,” he said.