A second city commissioner has said he will vote to fluoridate Portland’s water before the first hearing has been held on the issue.
A coalition of health providers, minority organizations and social service agencies is lobbying the council to add flouride to the city’s water to reduce cavities. Commissioner Randy Leonard, who oversees the Portland Water Bureau, says he will introduce a measure to add fluoride to the water in September.
Commissioner Nick Fish issued a statement saying he will vote for it on Aug. 16. It reads as follows:
I believe it is time to add fluoride to Portland’s drinking water.
Fluoridation is supported by a broad coalition of public health, medical, and community-based organizations. It’s a safe, cost-effective and common sense approach to protecting public health. In fact, Portland is one of the last cities of our size that doesn’t fluoridate its drinking water.
As the parent of an 8-year-old, I am fortunate to be able to follow my dentist’s recommendation and give my child regular fluoride treatments. Many hardworking families simply cannot afford this basic preventative measure, and their children are twice as likely to suffer from dental disease.
With fluoridated water, simply drinking tap water gives all of our children the same opportunity to start life with healthy teeth. No child with a toothache can be expected to learn in a classroom or have fun on the playground.
Tooth decay can be easily prevented at a cost much lower than what it takes to treat the disease. Once decay sets in, dental procedures are even more costly. In fact, cities save an estimated $38 in dental costs for every $1 invested in fluoridation.
Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in nearly all water supplies; it just happens that our Bull Runwater could use a little more to help protect our children and families from cavities.
It’s time for Portland to join the majority of cities across the nation and fluoridate our water. When this issue comes to Council, I will vote to protect the basic health of all our children.