ARCATA – Among the items on the Wednesday, Feb. 5 City Council agenda is community water fluoridation. Arcata has fluoridated its water since the early 1960s, and in 2006 defeated by 62 to 38 percent Measure W, which would have ceased fluoridation.

Councilmember Paul Pitino

According to a city staff report, Councilmember Paul Pitino has requested that the City consider “removing” fluoride from its drinking water system. He proposes adding a city-generated measure on the November ballot to stop fluoridation.

The staff report states, “The City currently spends approximately $16,500 per year on the fluoridation system for materials, supplies and contract lab costs. Staff time costs for maintenance, daily system checks and filing reports is estimated at $19,500 per year. The cost of a ballot measure for the upcoming November 2020 General Election is estimate at less than $5,000 as the City will already be contributing to the election cost.”

The city staff report offers some history and regulatory information, but no arguments for or against fluoridation.

Public health officials and dentists strongly supported continued fluoridation during the 2006 Measure W debate, asserting that it is harmless and protects children’s health. Others consider fluoride responsible for a spectrum of maladies, and believe it should be administered privately by personal choice.

The council meeting starts at 6 p.m. at Arcata City Hall, 736 F St.

*Original article online at