JOHNSTOWN — The Greater Johnstown Water Authority is considering removing fluoride from water that serves its customers.
A notice is in the process of being sent to all its customers asking they attend a public meeting to discuss their concerns about the chemical.
Fluoride is known for fighting cavities and tooth decay. It’s a medical chemical added to water.
The manager at the water authority, Mike Kerr, said they’ve added fluoride to its water since 1989, but now they’re considering change.
A local dentist disagrees.
“Before fluoride, there was decay everywhere. Once fluoride came around, it really improved dental health of the public. So, why would we go backward?” said Mike Rice, dentist at Dental Care Associates.
The water authority is encouraging the public to attend its meeting to discuss the use or discontinuance of fluoridation in the community’s drinking water.
Kerr said the water authority believes the chemical creates a hazardous work environment. It also said the rising chemical costs are making it too expensive.
“With chemical costs rising, to keep fluoride in the water, it would cost over $400,000 over the next 10 years,” Kerr said.
Rice said without fluoride he believes it would be a “oral health disaster.”
A disaster, that could be prevented by keeping the chemical in the water. He said it’s not hazardous.
“The anti-fluoridation crowd seems to think it carries diseases…like multiple sclerosis or diabetes. But, we just don’t see it. Where is it? If it’s so bad for you, why isn’t there a public health crisis?” said Rice.
Plus, he said the end result could be painful.
“When a tooth decays, first it goes through the enamel, and then its middle layer to the pulp of tooth. That’s where the nerves and blood vessels are. That’s when you get raging toothache. Do you want your kids to go through that? Then go ahead and take the fluoride out of the water,” said Rice.
The water authority has scheduled a public meeting on Tuesday, May 30 at 10 a.m.
If you plan on attending, officials ask to please call 814-533-4300 so seating can be made available.
• Original article online at http://wjactv.com/news/local/greater-johnstown-water-authority-considers-removing-fluoride-from-water