Hood River, OR – In a sharp rebuke to efforts to fluoridate Hood River’s drinking water, city voters in Hood River have voted to approve a drinking water protection measure that fluoridation supporters claim would prevent fluoridation. The Measure’s proponents say that the State Legislature should pay attention to the message voters were sending and reject House Bill 2025, which would mandate water fluoridation for communities with more than 10,000 people.
The Hood River Drinking Water Protection Measure prohibits the addition of any industrial waste byproduct or any other substance that would cause the drinking water to exceed the U.S. EPA’s health based contaminant goals for toxics. Those pushing fluoridation vigorously opposed the measure since most fluoridation chemicals used in the United States are byproducts of phosphate fertilizer production and are well known to contain toxics, such as arsenic and lead, at concentrations that exceed EPA’s health based goals (ie. EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level Goals). The drinking water protection measure passed with 56% of voters supporting the measure and 42% opposing it.
“People in Hood River know that we have really good water and do not want fluoride compounds known to contain toxics like arsenic and lead added to our water,” says Eric Voigt, a Hood River neurological chiropractor and one of the Chief Petitioners for the measure. “The Oregon Legislature should not pre-empt the right of local communities to decide whether or not to fluoridate given all the new medical evidence about the serious health effects being linked to water fluoridation and the extremely limited benefits of water fluoridation.”
Kim Folts, who was also a petitioner for the measure agrees. “When all the recent dental studies show that that fluoride works topically, like used in toothpaste, but has little benefit when systemically taken via drinking water, there is just no good reason to fluoridate our drinking water. If we want to do something significant to help kids’ teeth we need to focus on the root of the problem, which is a lack of good dental hygiene and bad diet.”
Lynn Campbell with Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water says that the Hood River vote is representative of growing public concern about water fluoridation. “I think people are starting to realize that water fluoridation is a 1950’s solution that does not make sense in the face of recent scientific information about its significant risks and extremely limited benefits. I hope that the Oregon Legislators takes the time to actually review the serious recent evidence about the very real public health threats now being linked to drinking water fluoridation.”
“Oregon has a lot of cities with great water, and the idea of adding any more chemicals to the water just does not make sense given what we now know about the real risks and very limited benefits of drinking water fluoridation,” adds Brent Foster, an attorney with Columbia Riverkeeper, who also supported the measure.