Earlier this month Clarksburg Water Board voted 2 to 1 to no longer purchase fluoride to treat public water in Harrison County. After receiving mail from the public expressing their concerns, the board decided to hold a public hearing.
More than half of the citizens who attended the meeting were in support to have fluoride in water.
“It was made pretty clear to the board to what the public health experts, medical and dental communities feel about fluoride, mainly that it’s safe and effective and it’s really the best way to reduce dental cavities in people in all ages,” said Pediatrician, Jennifer Momen.
But after hearing arguments for having fluoride in water, a Clarksburg Water Board member still had concerns saying fluoride consumption should be an option.
“I have a lot of concerns about fluoride. My family does not use fluoridation water and I believe that the public has the right to know what’s in their water and informed consent. It’s important that people realize that we are putting fluoride in the water to medicate them and not to treat the water,” said Clarksburg Water Board member, Paul Howe III.
But an expert said there will be negative impacts if water fluoridation is taken away.
“If fluoridation was taken away you would expect to see an increase in cavity rates within our West Virginia, Harrison County children and also the adults will be affected as well,” said Registered Dental Hygienist, Gina Sharps.
Not all medical experts are in support of fluoride. The Clean Water Clarksburg group says the push for fluoride in water is big money.
“Unfortunately, there is big money in pushing that everyone should support fluoride and so a lot of times you don’t hear of the individuals and organizations that are against fluoride but they’re definitely out there,” said Co-Founder of Clean Water Clarksburg, Shannon Jackson.
The Clarksburg Water Board is in the process of electing new officials who will be in the forefront of tackling this issue.