Corning | To fluoridate city drinking water or not.
The topic has been considered by city leaders since the 1950s, but aldermen have never voted on the issue, said Mayor Frank P. Coccho.
Water fluoridation is the act of adding fluoride ions to drinking water in order to reduce tooth decay.
The city Board of Health is currently taking another look at the sometimes controversial issue.
Health board members seem to be supporters of fluoridation, but stress the issue will be fully investigated by the board prior to making a recommendation to the City Council.
“It’s an issue we will investigate thoroughly,” said Dr. Gary Enders, president of the city Board of Health.
Numerous special interest groups have already contacted city officials offering information both for and against fluoridation.
“We’ve received a number of calls,” said City Manager Mark Ryckman.
Advocates say it is similar to fortifying salt with iodine, milk with vitamin D and orange juice with vitamin C.
They claim it to be an effective way to prevent tooth decay and improve oral health over a lifetime, for both children and adults.
Opponents claim fluoride levels are too high, that it is mixed with other toxic chemicals an d that adverse health effects outweigh beneficial effects.
The city Board of Health will meet at 7 p.m. May 16 to discuss the issue. Tom Klauses of the state Department of Health has been invited to attend the meeting to share information about the topic.
Klauses has been involved with other communities considering adding fluoride to drinking water.