Dozens of people showed up at Tuesday morning’s San Diego City Council meeting to voice their concerns about fluoridated water.
The city was supposed to start adding the compound to its treatment plants last month, but delayed the move to make sure the staff and systems were ready.
Last week, federal health officials announced they were recommending lower levels of fluoride in drinking water. Officials said they were concerned people were getting too much. According to health officials, too much fluoride causes a condition called florosis, which stains and erodes teeth. It is estimated one-third of American children have the condition.
Even though the issue was not on Tuesday’s agenda, a crowd of people gathered to speak during the public comment session.
Tracy Benson said she’s been researching the issue and doesn’t like what she’s discovering.”
I would like to see the studies, the toxicological studies that show the benefit of adding these chemicals to the water,” said Benson. “If the citizens of San Diego really knew the health ramifications of ingesting fluoride, bathing in it, they wouldn’t want this in their water.”
According to the city of San Diego website, a California law that passed in 1995 requires agencies with more than 10,000 water service connections — which includes San Diego — to fluoridate water supplies. A public water system is exempt until sufficient outside funding is available. In June 2008, the City Council accepted an offer of funding from the First 5 Commission of San Diego County.
Some residents questioned that funding.
Those monies are from the tobacco tax funds. It’s like breaking the law. There are laws in place to protect us and the citizens of San Diego voted to twice to stop fluoride treatment so it’s like why are we allowing this to happen,” asked Patty Ducey-Brooks, who is part of a group called San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water.
The city has not said how the new federal recommendations will impact plans locally. The government wants the amount of fluoride in drinking water to be at .7 milligrams per liter of water; which is the amount the city plans to add when it begins treating its water supply.