It started small, but a group of activists on Thursday began an effort to convince the public and, eventually, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority to stop putting fluoride in drinking water.
While fluoride has been inserted into drinking water for decades, it has always courted controversy and concerns that people are being medicated with a toxic chemical against their consent.
But water fluoridation has been called one of the greatest public health successes in history and is seen as a way to bring dental health care to the general public.
Evan Folds of Progressive Gardens, one of the founders of the group, said they don’t dispute fluoride’s effects on the mouth, but the need to ingest it and have it forced on people through the water supply is problematic.
The group – which includes former Wilmington Councilwoman Pat Delair – intends to meet on a monthly basis, and has other plans to reaching out to dentists, walking neighborhoods and other outreach efforts.
Awareness of fluoride use became an issue again recently when the utility authority began putting into the water at its nano-filtration plant in Ogden. Water from the Sweeney plant had been fluorinated for decades.