This will be the last fluoride-free week in Wellington.
Starting Monday, the village will begin treating its water supply with element just about 10 months after the village council voted to re-institute it.
So what took so long?
The village has been talking about expanding its water treatment center and re-installing the fluoride machine at that point.
But it’s not going out for bids until August or early September followed by about two years of construction, Wellington’s Assistant Village Manager Jim Barnes said.
Instead of waiting, the staff has decided to hook up the old system before the expansion of the treatment facility.
Fluoride will now be back for good. There won’t be a break in treatment during the construction just like there won’t be a break in regular water service, Barnes said.
Wellington voted to stop fluoridating its water in 2014, a decision that drew jeers, including the Washington Post’s Wonkblog ranking the idea as one of the 11 worst policy decisions of 2014.
Some Wellington residents are still unhappy with the decision, but the council had the final say.
Many government and health organizations support water fluoridation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even called it “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”
Science shows that fluoride reduces the chance of tooth decay by about 25 percent, the CDC states. As long as its used in small amounts, it’s shown to be a positive for preventative dentistry. Wellington will use it at a rate of 0.7 mg/l as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Then why did Wellington stop using it?
Opponents see the issue as forced medication. If someone doesn’t want fluoride or has an intolerance to it, they now don’t have a choice whether it shows up in their water.
The Fluoride Action Network is the biggest group against it. It doesn’t think there is enough research to determine long-term effects and that it could cause other health problems.
More than 50 residents showed up to speak for and against the practice at the June meeting last year.
Ultimately, the council leaned on the science when it unanimously decided to put fluoride back in the water.
• Original article online at http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local/wellington-the-last-week-without-fluoride-the-water/rBBAhzLELiTWtJsPJ6mIdL/