About 150 people turned out to a marathon public-input session on whether the city should keep adding fluoride to drinking water.
Council’s civic works committee heard from people on both sides of the issue at Centennial Hall. While public health officials are in favour of continuing to use the additive as a low-cost way to prevent tooth decay, others decried it as a chemical that has adverse health effects and an ineffective way to prevent tooth decay.
Last year the Middlesex-London Health Unit backed the use of fluoride which has been added to London tap water since 1967. But council decided to hold a public meeting on the issue, which is quickly becoming a hot topic.
Waterloo has stopped adding fluoride after a slim majority of residents voted for its elimination in a 2010 referendum.
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“This is a very important public health intervention. It has been proven over the decades not only to be effective and safe, but really the most cost effective way of delivering fluoride to a population to maintain and improve their oral health.”
— Dr. Arlene King, provincial chief medical officer of health
“We’re not talking about teeth here. We’re talking about health. About 45% of Canadians have had some form of dental disease by the age of six.”
— Peter Cooney, Health Canada chief dental officer
“I’m concerned because I’m a mom. I have two small kids and I don’t think it’s a good thing for the kids. Why take the risk to put it in my baby’s mouth?”
— Alejandra Cline
“The time has come to remove fluoride from our water . . . Every tube of toothpaste states ‘Do not swallow.'”
— Ron Moss
“Personally, I have dental fluorosis.”
— Timothy Pallant, who thinks the city shouldn’t force all Londoners to pay to fluoridate water when not everyone agrees with the move.