The Sudbury and District Health Unit has condemned the Nairn and Hyman Township Council’s recent decision to remove fluoride from the community’s water supply.
The township has had fluroide [sic] in its water supply since the early 1990s, but passed a motion on April 11 to remove it.
“I am very concerned by the Nairn and Hyman Township Council’s decision to remove fluoride from its community water supply,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury and District medical officer of health, in a press release. “This is a significant step backwards for oral health for this community. Community water fluoridation makes sure that everyone benefits from the protection that fluoride provides against tooth decay — regardless of factors such as income, age, residence, or education.”
The Sudbury and District Board of Health passed a motion Wednesday to reaffirm “its long-standing support for community water fluoridation.”
The health unit has said painful tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease in Canadian children and causes much avoidable suffering and stigma. Adding fluoride to the water provides the preventive effects of fluoride to individuals who may not be able to afford other types of fluoride, such as toothpaste and professional treatments.
“We recognize that water fluoridation is the most cost-effective, equitable, safe, and internationally recognized method to prevent dental decay,” said René Lapierre, chair of the Sudbury and District Board of Health. “The current legislation means that such decisions are left to local municipalities. There really needs to be provincial legislation to ensure all Ontarians are protected.”