Aiken City Council will be discussing the fluoridation of the City’s water in the coming months.
During the meeting Monday, Councilman Dick Dewar requested a work session to look at the issue of fluoride which has become quite controversial around the country in recent months.
“This subject, it has been getting a lot of talk; it has for some months now,” Mayor Fred Cavanaugh said.
Recent studies and debates around the nation in regard to fluoride revolves around various health concerns, and citizens are calling to have a choice of what is in their drinking water. It is a conversation that has recently echoed around the country for and against fluoride in residential water supplies.
Dewar said that he does not have stance for or against fluoride, but after receiving several e-mails from constituents concerned with the issue, he felt as if it was important for Council to discuss it.
“I’m looking for an opportunity for everyone to have their say,” he said.
City Manager Richard Pearce, who conducted his first City Council meeting in his new position, said the City has 0.7 milligrams per liter of fluoride in its water at this time, down from 1 mg per liter when DHEC had recommended a range of 0.8 to 1.2 mg per liter. This decrease came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study suggested to DHEC that fluoride levels be lowered.
Pearce added that recent federal reports have suggested that children may be receiving too much fluoride and the issue is worth researching.
Council has not set a date for this work session at this time as they want to collect as much data as possible. Like Dewar, most of the Council members have no stance for or against fluoride and are willing to hear all sides of the issue.
Cavanaugh said that this is an issue he’d like to handle with care and rationale. He said he would like to hear from members of the dental community and ask the state Department of Health and Environmental Control of the benefits of fluoride.
The City of Aiken has had fluoride in its water since Nov. 23, 1955. Fluoride is not a federal requirement and is a decision left to the various municipalities as long as they follow DHEC guidelines…