Commissioners at tonight’s Public Works meeting in Burlington, Vermont, voted unanimously to accept the recommendations of commissioners Margret Gundersen, Jared Wood, and Assistant Director of Water/Waste Water Treatment Laurie Adams.

In January of 2010 the three were asked to review the most current information concerning fluoride. Citing the 2006 National Research Council’s review of fluoride the subcommittee agreed that fluoridation should be suspended until sufficient health effects studies have been preformed. Commission Chairman Bob Alberry requested the inclusion of additional information before moving the subcommittee recommendation to City Council.

Tonight the subcommittee reported:

After considerable review, we as a subcommittee are unanimous in our support of the deferral of fluoridation in Burlington water until such time as there are scientific studies covering the potential health effects evaluated in the 2006 NRC report (…). Furthermore, we support consideration of the suspension of fluoridation given that there are other readily available sources of fluoride for dental health, and because as an additive to drinking water it takes away the choice by the public (…)

In 2006 Burlington voters chose to keep fluoride in the public drinking water. Fifteen days later the National Research Council released its report entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water.” Citing this report in January of 2009 the Burlington Board of Health advised the City Council to “immediately cease and desist fluoridation.” The Board of Health raised concerns that certain subgroups of citizens, including infants, the elderly, and kidney patients were at increased risk to the toxic effects of fluoride. The Board also pointed to the American Dental Association’s warning against infants consuming fluoridated water and the National Kidney Foundation’s retraction of endorsement in November of 2008.

In a 2008 letter, City Attorney Kenneth Schatz responded to Councilor Joan Shannon saying, “City Council has the ultimate authority within the City to determine what chemicals go into our water.”