JACKMAN — After about 35 years of having fluoride added to their drinking water, residents of Jackman and Moose River are being asked whether they want to continue with the tooth decay preventative.
A referendum on the ballot for the Nov. 7 election asks residents: Shall fluoride be added to the public water supply for the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay?
“It has to be worded exactly that way according to the state,” Jackman Town Manager Kathleen MacKenzie said.
A joint public hearing to explain the issue will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 16 at the Jackman town office.
“Hopefully someone from the state will be available to answer questions,” MacKenzie said.
MacKenzie said that, according to records of the Jackman Utility District, the two communities voted to add fluoride to the water in 1971, when the water plant was incorporated.
In a statement to selectmen, utility district officials said there are pros and cons associated with fluoridation of water and they felt that “after 35 years, the town should be given the opportunity to decide whether they want to continue to fluoridate or not.”
According to a Center for Disease Control information Web site, 75 percent of people on public water systems will receive water that has the optimal level of fluoride recommended for preventing tooth decay.
Currently, more than 170 million people in the United States using public water supplies drink water containing enough fluoride to protect teeth, according to the CDC information.