ACUSHNET — Health Board Chairman Thomas Fortin hopes to meet with New Bedford Mayor Scott Lang today or tomorrow to discuss the city’s pending fluoridation of its water supply, which also serves the town.
“We’re most definitely still opposed to the fluoride,” Mr. Fortin said last night. “We haven’t changed our minds, and we’ve told the city that, but there have been some (published) reports the city hasn’t heard opposition from Acushnet.”
Mr. Fortin said his board has concluded there are “repercussions” from fluoridation and that they should be somewhat explored even if the city and town are unable to secure a U.S. Food and Drug Administration opinion on fluoride’s effects.
Mr. Fortin, along with selectmen Chairman Robert F. Brown and Board of Public Works Chairman Rene Racine, sent a letter to Mayor Lang prior to the ballot vote in New Bedford that came down on the side of fluoridation.
Mr. Fortin said he might bring Health Agent Ralph Urban to his meeting with Mayor Lang, should it be arranged.
Mr. Fortin said he understands Acushnet may have to deal with the fluoride issue “after the fact;” something selectmen have also acknowledged, hoping to follow a North Attleboro case model.
Mr. Fortin said his board meets again Jan. 19 and would discuss fluoride and what steps might next be recommended to selectmen.
Selectmen are closely watching the fluoridation situation while admitting New Bedford controls its water supply and Massachusetts case law gives the town little legal standing in this matter because that supply is not legally considered a “shared system.”