Peterborough has fluoride in its public water supply and a local group has been working for more than a year to put an end to the practice
Fluoride Free Peterborough is hosting a retired professor of environmental chemistry and toxicology on Wednesday (Aug. 13) to speak to community members about water fluoridation.
Dr. Paul Connett, a recognized international authority on the topic, is the founder of the Fluoride Action Network, a New York-based coalition with the same mandate as Fluoride Free Peterborough — to end fluoridation in municipal water.
The local group has been working at the issue for more than a year with three main concerns regarding public safety and citizens’ rights. The group says the hydrofluosilicic added to Peterborough water hasn’t been proven safe for human consumption and contains arsenic, lead and other toxic metals. The group says fluoride has been shown to cause serious adverse health effects in humans, animals and plant life.
Further, Fluoride Free Peterborough says adding the acid to the public water supply is akin to administering medication without informed consent and without regard to the specific age, size and health status of citizens.
Still, according a Provincial Health Indicator report shows that more than half of Ontario residents are in favour of the practice. The survey put the issue to more than 1,800 adults 18 and older in 2011, and found that 23 per cent were opposed to water fluoridation. Twenty-one per cent were unsure whether they supported or opposed it.
Rosana Pellizzari, Peterborough’s medical officer of health, says the data is clear, and the majority of people understand that fluoride prevents tooth decay. She adds the practice is for the benefit of the whole community.
Ms Pellizzarri is advising those who are undecided on the issue to use credible, unbiased scientific sources to get more information.
“There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about fluoridation put out there by conspiracy theorists and groups with corporate interests,” she says. “One of the best things you can do is consult websites of third-party, scientific health agencies like Health Canada or Public Health Ontario.”
The health unit invites community members to access information about fluoride at www.pcchu.ca
The public meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Peterborough Public Library.