MANSFIELD – Thomas Yeransian said he believes it’s time to rethink adding fluoride to the town water supply.
Yeransian has filed a citizens’ petition asking Town Meeting voters to discontinue adding sodium fluoride or any other fluoridation chemical “in order to protect vulnerable populations from over exposure to fluoride…”
The article will go before Town Meeting voters on May 24. Town Meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Xfinity Center parking lot.
The Mansfield Board of Health is slated to discuss community water fluoridation at its May 20 virtual meeting at 6 p.m. To attend the virtual meeting go to www.mansfieldma.com.
A 35-year resident, Yeransian was at Town Meeting in the early 1990s when the town voted to begin fluoridation.
“It passed with very little discussion,” he said.
For the last 20 years, his family has used bottled water they purchase weekly from Simpson Spring Company in Easton.
His son, who now lives in Hyannis, has followed fluoridation and suggested Yeransian submit a citizens’ petition, he said.
“My son, Ben, really looked into this for years and really wanted to at least have the town reconsider choice 30 years ago,” Yeransian said.
A chemical engineer, Yeransian said there is a lot of new information since the Town Meeting vote.
“There’s been a lot of new science contradicting some of the science fluoridation was originally based on,” he said.
Yeransian said fluoride does help teeth in preventing cavities but it is only effective when being used topically such as in toothpaste.
He said there is lots of information online on both sides of the issue.
“It’s certainly up for debate,” he said. “The dental community has been very active saying its safe and those things really don’t happen, but why take the risk?”
“The dental community is very pro fluoridation, which gets to the point that they are all about teeth but not doctors for the body,” he said. “Why are we putting fluoride in the water? Medical doctors tell us vitamins D and C are essential but why don’t we put vitamins D and C in the water?”
Yeransian said adding fluoride to water is also inefficient because people ingest less than 10 percent of the public water they use. Most is used for washing clothes or dishes or flushing toilets.
“If when I was in college or at a job and someone asked how to distribute fluoride to humans in an efficient and cost-effective manner and I came up with putting it in the public water supply, I would have failed the class or been fired,” said Yeransian, who owns an environmental consulting business. “The way fluoride is distributed is entirely inefficient and from an engineering standpoint, ridiculous.”
Yeransian said another point important to him is that fluoride the town purchases comes from China, which does not have the same health standards as the US.
Ultimately, Yeransian said he believes residents should have a choice whether to use fluoride.
He said residents can still use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash and have sealants on their teeth to prevent tooth decay.
“No matter what you believe on the science, it all comes down to do you want to use the public water supply as a way to add vitamins and minerals that some medical professional or dentist thinks is going to be good for us,” he said. “Putting fluoride in the water is taking away my personal choice. My read of the science is there is risk, so why subject us to risk?
“I prefer to make that choice.”
Staff writer Donna Whitehead can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also friend her on Facebook. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to the Journal News Independent today.