Moncton residents will have a chance to tell the city whether they want to continue getting fluoride in their water.
Local residents have been reaching out to Moncton city councillors, writing letters to the Times & Transcript and have been setting up websites and social media groups about their position on water fluoridation.
This is why Councillor Kathryn Barnes brought the issue to the city’s corporate planning office.
“I’ve received lots of calls about it so we’ll hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 8 where anyone can make a presentation,” Barnes said recently.
The public consultation will run from 6 to 9 p.m. The city wants to hear what citizens have to say.
“They’re the consumers,” said Claude Despres, director of corporate planning. “I think the matter is black and white, there’s no opinion in between.”
Despres believes what sparked the recent concern among Moncton residents are decisions in both Calgary and Waterloo, Ont., to remove fluoride from the water supply. Additionally, last month’s decision to keep fluoride in Cape Breton’s water strengthened the position to keep fluoridation.
“After the presentations, we’ll compile all the information we received and bring it forward to council for discussion and consideration,” Despres said.
Hydrofluorosilicic acid is the inorganic compound commonly used for water fluoridation.
The acid is also used to convert into aluminium fluoride and cryolite. These materials are the basis of the conversion of aluminium ore into aluminium metal.
This is the reason why Coun. Pierre Boudreau wants fluoride removed from Moncton’s water supply.
“It’s an acid, plain and simple,” he said. “And a highly toxic waste byproduct of the potash companies.”
A website dedicated to the removal of fluoride from Moncton’s water, fluoridefreemoncton.ca, argues the same fact.
Its creators also point out that Fredericton doesn’t add fluoride to its supply, and since 1990, another 23 cities across Canada have stopped adding fluoride as a result of public protests.
Moncton’s treatment plant has been including fluoride in the water since the 1960s and has followed strict regulations from Health Canada, says the director of water systems, Ensor Nicholson.
“From an engineering point of view, we’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “The amount is 0.7 milligrams per litre of water and the plant does a great job of maintaining this.”
Two local dentists publicly argued in support of water fluoridation in this newspaper’s Forum pages last week. Dr. Donald Joyce and Dr. Larry Peacocke say it’s a great benefit for many families to have this service.
“When income level or ability to receive routine dental care is a barrier to receiving its health benefits … Fluoridated water greatly reduces the number of cavities in children’s teeth,” their letter read.
The dentists also state that “relevant medical and scientific literature over many years have consistently failed to find evidence that fluoridation has any effect on the health of the body other than reducing tooth decay.”
The public consultation will be held in council chambers at Moncton City Hall.
The city is asking residents who wish to make presentations to first register by June 3.
Residents can call 853-3550 or e-mail their request to firstname.lastname@example.org