A meeting of the Common Council of the City of Oneida, NY was held on the seventeenth day of February, 2015 at 6:30 o’clock P.M. in Council Chambers, Oneida Municipal Building, 109 N. Main Street, Oneida, NY.
Public Hearing – Fluoridation of the City’s Water
Dr. Samuel Barr, Dentist, 231 Broad Street, Oneida NY, spoke in favor of adding fluoride to the City’s public water supply. Dr. Barr stated that surrounding areas have fluoridated water, citing Syracuse, Utica and Canastota as examples. Dr. Barr said, referring to a pamphlet disbursed before the meeting, most developed countries either fluoridate their water or add fluoride to salt, so there is some type of fluoridation. Most non-fluoridated countries do not eat as much processed food as the U.S. Dr. Barr said fluoride affects many tissues in the body if you look at that as a single fact; the issue of fluoride has to do with dosage and he cited an example. He said that fluoride has been called a neurotoxin, but oxygen is a neurotoxin also. Fluoride occurs naturally in some water supplies. He said if you get too much fluoride, it causes a mild discoloration of your teeth, but this doesn’t happen very often, and it is usually because kids are swallowing toothpaste, not because of the water. Dr. Barr said, as far as a correlation between fluoride and a lower IQ, in the past 45 years, the fluoridation of water has really taken off in this country and in the past 45 years, the IQ of people in this country has increased. He said that fluoride is not a medicine; it is a natural occurring element. He said most of the benefit of fluoride is related to the amount one has in their saliva and blood plasma, which happens from swallowing it. He said that disadvantaged communities have the most cavities and need fluoride the most. Dr. Barr displayed a power point presentation for the Council and audience noting the many benefits of fluoride and said that all of the country’s Surgeon Generals have come out in favor of fluoride. He said prevention is far more cost effective than the treatment. He said too much fluoride is not good and referred to a northern town that has too much natural fluoride in their water. He said they have to remove some of it; you want the right amount. He said most health organizations are strongly in favor of fluoride.
Kevin Goggins, Oneida resident and high school teacher, handed out a pamphlet to the Council named “10 Facts About Fluoride” and spoke against the addition of fluoride to the City’s public water supply. He said in 2002, Dr. Paul Connett, PHD, and his former professor at St. Lawrence University, came to Oneida to speak against fluoride. Mr. Goggins said that Dr. Connett will be back in the country after March 12 and would debate the issue; however, he said Dr. Connett doubted anyone would want to debate it, as there is not enough scientific data to back up the information. Mr. Goggins said nothing is perfectly safe, and there is still research that has to be done. He said 97% of European countries don’t fluoridate their water and only five countries fluoridate their salt. He cited the National Academy of Science’s review of fluoride’s effect on various tissues in the body, and said the Academy requests more good studies are done. He said fluoride occurs naturally in water, but that doesn’t mean it is good for you, adding that arsenic and lithium occur naturally also. He said the fluorosilicic acid that would be added to tap water is an acid obtained as a by-product from the fertilizer industry. He said 40% of teenagers show visible signs of fluoride over-exposure (teeth showing cloudy spots and streaks), which can affect them psychologically. He said it is impossible to control the dose, as there is in fluoride in so many different products and he named a few, such as bottled water, toothpaste, and Teflon pans. He said according to a CDC (Centers for Disease Control) study, infants consuming fluoridated water have a higher rate of fluorosis, and there is the possibility that fluoridated water can reduce ones IQ according to another study. He said fluoride is not an essential nutrient, as are vitamin D and iodine.
Mr. Goggins cited various studies relating to issues with fluoride. He said there are two sides to every story, and he said he would like to have an open debate with Dr. Connett after March 12.
The Mayor thanked both parties for their advocacy and asked if anyone else would like to speak.