HAMPTON — City residents will soon have more fluoride added to their water — again.
Earlier this year, the community’s City Services Committee recommended that a 1975 ordinance requiring additional flouridation be repealed since the water system met state standards without it.
So plans were made for an election in 2007 in which voters would decide whether or not to scrap the law.
But Hampton City Councilman Pat Palmer said Thursday state law does not allow for an election to repeal the local ordinance.
Palmer said fluoride should be added in four to six weeks.
It has been held out of Hampton’s water since 1999, when then-city water supervisor Trev Murphy said it was not needed because it occurs naturally in Well No. 3.
A $2.2 million water plant was constructed in 1993 at which time fluoride was added to the water.
Palmer, who chairs the City Services Committee, favored repealing the ordinance. He said the DNR rated Hampton’s water a nine on a one-to-10 scale last fall.
He said people can get enough fluoride from using mouthwash or fluoride toothpaste, and that it’s contained in many products, including Pepsi Cola and white grape juice.
“You’re going to overfluoridate the public,” Palmer said. “They’re probably overfluoridated now. Little kids up to 6 years old, they’re not supposed to have that stuff. For the people who don’t want it in their water now, they’ve got to buy a reverse osmosis system to get it out.
“We’ve argued about it for a year-and-a-half. It’s time to just put it behind us,” he added. “But I will say it’s going to be a campaign issue from here on out.”
Hampton dentists favor the added fluoride. One of them, Paul Sensor, said there shouldn’t have been an interruption in the first place. He said its use is endorsed by 80 to 100 organizations, including the state of Iowa, and there is no threat to public health.
“There are people who will believe anything they read on the Internet,” Sensor said. “This is the one thing we have in the in the water that benefits us. Fluoride is very, very safe, when it’s used the way it’s supposed to be used.
“We’re very, very pleased,” he added. “Most people are absolutely dumbfounded that the city would consider doing something like this.”