A Hinesburg resident, concerned about reports about potential harm fluoride poses, took his worries to the Board of Selectmen and members want to hear from the public about the issue.
Karl Novak, who was unavailable for comment this week, introduced the question about fluoride’s effects in a letter to local media. Citing studies performed in Israel, Novak noted the country will cease adding the chemical to its water supply in just under a year. In the letter, he pointed out many doctors oppose adding fluoride to drinking water because of the harmful side effects people in ill health can suffer.
The Hinesburg Board of Selectmen listened to Novak’s concerns during its Sept. 16 meeting. Selectmen decided comments presented during the hearing were “informational,” and no vote would be taken at the time. However, the issue could be voted on as early as Oct. 21, according to Board of Selectman Chairman Jon Trefry.
Residents, who also spoke during the meeting, also expressed gratitude that a representative from the Vermont Health Department also attended.
During an interview from his Hinesburg home, Trefry noted the topic had gained popularity on Front Porch Forum. He said he read numerous comments from other residents about fluoride and its impact on health, basing concerns about fluoride since it is in water supply that is directed to public organizations, such as the school and to restaurants, along with residences. The chemical is known to help prevent tooth decay.
Trefry added that daily water readings are taken by town officials, measuring fluoride levels. He also pointed out that 5 milligrams are added to Hinesburg’s water supply, bringing it up to 7.5.
“I was surprised more people didn’t attend,” Trefry said. “Six to eight people spoke against having fluoride in the water.”
Trefry added he hoped to have the question on the November ballot, but added that could happen if the Board votes to repeal the ordinance by next month.