Huntsville resident Dr. Jim Bjork was before the full council – after addressing the engineering and public works committee previously – to request the removal of fluoride from District water.
He claims it is an “unregulated toxic chemical” that could do more harm than help.
The Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit’s Dr. Colin Lee, associate Medical Officer of Health, countered that there is “no risk” to the population – and little if any negative findings against it.
In fact, he said, their own studies – and others worldwide – show fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and cavities.
He added there is no science to prove that fluoride, “which is found naturally in water,” is a cancer risk.
He said other reports may dispute his findings, but he dubbed them “Google science,” and not valid science.
Most of Muskoka’s water plants have fluoridation, said engineering commissioner Tony White, covering 76 per cent of Muskoka’s population of 57,000.
Only Port Severn and Port Sydney do not. And the former was due to cost cuts ($100,000) when the plant was built early last decade; while the latter owners of 32 homes serviced in Port Sydney have long opposed fluoride in their water.
However, some councillors, including Huntsville’s Fran Coleman and Bracebridge’s Steven Clement appeared sympathetic to Bjork.
With growing concerns by health-conscious consumers about what they put in their bodies, indisputable proof is being demanded.
Strangely, in Simcoe County only 2 per cent of the residents have fluoridated water. Barrie and Orilia do not.
That raised council eyebrows, which Lee addressed by saying the health unit is working to address that.
But he said most of North America has fluoridation and the World Health Organization recommends it.
Still, it is not mandated by Ontario law. It is up to each municipality, said Lee.
Bjork still thinks there are hidden concerns, even if there may be dental benefits.
District staff has been asked for a report.