Citing health concerns, opponents push officials to stop using it in city’s water
Just when it appeared that the city’s water supply was adequate and flowing in the right direction, a bevy of North Shore health activists has launched a campaign to encourage city councilors to rid the city’s water of fluoride.
Dr. Daniel Eyink, a local physician, appeared before the City Council Tuesday night and urged councilors to cease the use of fluoride in the water supply.
Also speaking were about a half-dozen other anti-fluoride advocates, who cited a variety of sources in condemning the compound.
The opponents were from communities including Amesbury, Seabrook, Methuen, Boxford and Cambridge.
Eyink’s letter was referred to the council’s Public Utilities Committee, headed by Councilor Ari Herzog and including Jared Eigerman and Bruce Vogel.
It said in part, “As a physician here in Newburyport, I have serious health and ethical concerns around the fluoridation of our water supply.
“There is no need to expose … tissues to fluoride by swallowing it, as fluoride imposes many risks to the health of our organs, including risk to brain, thyroid gland and bones.”
Eyink’s letter stated that fluoride is increasingly present in the lives of children, in “other sources beside our drinking water including fluoride dental products, fluoride pesticides, fluoridated pharmaceuticals and processed food made with fluoridated water.”
City officials appeared surprised by the vigorous attack on a component of the local water, perhaps in part because the community recently completed a rebuilding of its clearwell (water source).
For months city and state officials had expressed concern that the clearwell might cave in and hamper the availability of clean water throughout the city.
Local law enforcement officials, in fact, met two years ago to develop a plan for hospitals and schools should the water system fail. But a new clearwell has been built, dedicated and appears to be in sound functioning order.