Two of three members lean toward turning off fluoride tap
The Clarksburg Water Board soon could be dispensing unfluoridated water to residents of Clarksburg and surrounding communities.
Two of the Water Board’s three members say they would favor discontinuing the practice of adding fluoride to the Clarksburg water system.
“I think there are more negatives than there are positives about it,” board member Charlie Thayer said.
The issue is up for discussion at the board’s next meeting, which is noon Thursday at the public utility’s office, 1001 S. Chestnut St.
The board tabled the issue at its last meeting because its lawyer, Tim Stranko, wasn’t present. Stranko compiled various scientific studies for and against adding fluoride to water.
The research compiled by Stranko includes reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and U.S. Public Health Service touting fluoridation’s effects on reducing tooth decay.
The material also includes findings by the Fluoride Action Network that reject fluoride’s role in fighting tooth decay and raise concerns about its effects on overall health, from dental fluorosis, or yellowing of the teeth, to arthritis and other ailments.
The CDC, WHO and Public Health Service dispute studies attempting to link fluoride to serious ailments.
Both Thayer and fellow board member Paul Howe said there is mounting evidence questioning fluoride’s effectiveness with regard to dental health.
Studies have shown that tooth decay has fallen in populations both with and without fluoride in their water, they contend.
“I think good dental hygiene is pushed a lot more now than it was 30 or 40 years ago,” Howe said.
Thayer and Howe said they also are concerned about long-term consumption of fluoride on overall health.