Fluoride Action Network

Corning OKs fluoride study

Source: Star Gazette | September 6th, 2006 | By Larry Wilson
Location: United States, New York

CORNING — The city of Corning will hire an engineer to estimate the cost of fluoridating the municipality’s water supply.

The Corning City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday to authorize the study, which is expected to cost about $2,500.

City Manager Mark Ryckman said the results of the cost analysis could be available in about two months. The council is expected to vote on fluoridation early next year, but Ryckman said it would take up to three years to fund and install a system.

Alderman Rich Negri, R-4th Ward, and Alderman Anthony Sofia, R-8th Ward, voted against the study.

“This is getting the cart before the horse,” Negri said. “We’re talking about spending $2,500 to do a study of the cost of fluoridating water. The council should decide first if it wants to fluoridate the water.”

Negri displayed a six-pack of fluoridated water that he said he bought at Wegmans for $2.50.

“Why should the rest of us have to cook with and drink fluoridated water?” he said.

James Nelson, R-7th Ward, said the cost information is necessary for the council to make a decision on fluoridation.

“If it’s too expensive, then it’s a moot point,” he said.

Hilda Lando, D-3rd Ward, said she’s still on the fence on the fluoridation issue.

“This study may help me decide one way or the other,” Lando said.

Sundae Grimes-Yates, D-2nd Ward, said a survey she conducted indicates residents of the ward are overwhelmingly in favor of water fluoridation.

Mayor Frank Coccho, who said he supports the City Board of Health’s recommendation that fluoride be added to the public water supply, said the cost information could cause him to change his mind.

“It does matter to me what this cost study shows us,” Coccho said.

The Board of Health earlier this year recommended that the council approve water fluoridation as a method of reducing tooth decay, especially in children. Several local dentists have backed the proposal.

Fluoridation opponents argued at an Aug. 9 public hearing that the dangers of fluoride outweigh its benefits. They cited studies that linked the chemical to certain cancers and bone diseases.

Paul Connett, a chemistry professor at St. Lawrence University, disputed whether fluoride prevents tooth decay and said it has been linked to lower functioning of the thyroid gland and reductions of IQ.

Dr. Jay Kumar, a dentist with the New York State Department of Health, said researchers “overwhelmingly” agree that fluoride reduces the incidence of tooth decay. He said only minor medical problems have been traced to fluoride.