City council heard from medical professionals Tuesday night that argued Cornwall should stay the course on the use of fluoride in drinking water.

Council was asked a few weeks ago by a group to consider eliminating the addition of fluoride to our drinking water, which set off alarm bells in the medical community.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, medical officer of health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, was joined by Dr. Peter Cooney, Canada’s chief public health dentist and Chantal Sabourin, oral and child health program manager at the health unit, and all argued against the move.

All agreed the potential health risks of fluoridating water are incredibly small, practically negligible.

They further suggested adding fluoride to water helps improve overall health as individuals are able to consume a proper diet by way of healthy teeth.

“There is a tremendous value to water fluoridation,” said Roumeliotis. “Oral health really has an effect on overall health. And I worry, frankly, about populations that…don’t have access to regular dental care. And I am talking about the Cornwall and SD and G areas.”

Cooney said health officials have been battling fluoride critics since the 1940s when the practise of adding the chemical to drinking water first became prevalent.

“In our office this file never goes away…it has been going since 1945,” said Cooney. “It has been accused of causing AIDS. Often the myths move with the social issues of the time.

“This has gone on for 65 years. How we try to counteract that is to come to folks like you.”

Fluoride Free Cornwall made a pitch to city councillors because the group’s members say the addition of fluoride to drinking water poses a health risk.

At the time council sanctioned the creation of a report to determine the effects of eliminating fluoride use in our drinking water.

Paul Brisebois, a member of Fluoride Free Cornwall, told councillors that the health risks of a “toxin” like fluorine – which is mixed with other additives to create fluoride and added to drinking water – need to be eliminated.

Across Canada, 41 towns and cities along with the majority of B.C and Quebec have stopped adding fluoride to drinking water.