A Bartow couple urged the city commission to reconsider its decision last May to add fluoride to the city’s water supply when the new water treatment plant goes into operation next year.
Walter and Debra Childs said that fluoridation affects the central nervous system, and can pose a danger to fetuses and to women who suffer from osteoporosis.
Mrs. Childs said her doctor has advised her not to drink fluoridated water.
Her husband said that if the city goes through with is plans to add fluoride to its water supply, “I’m going to add a unit to take it out.”
Commissioners agreed to study an article that the couple submitted for their consideration, and to ask Dr. Daniel Haight, county health director, to respond.
It was at Dr. Haight’s recommendation, which was endorsed by all 12 of Bartow’s dentists, that the commission voted to add fluoride to the water supply.
Unlike chlorine, fluoride isn’t needed to insure a safe water supply, Mrs. Childs told the commission.
“It doesn’t help much” in preventing tooth decay, she added.
“It’s not a necessary ingredient in drinking water.”
Mayor Pat Crisman told the couple that the commission will send a copy of the article to Dr. Haight, and will review their decision to fluoridate the water.
At the commission’s May 7 meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to accept Dr. Haight’s recommendation. He said that adding fluoride to water supplies has been shown to reduce tooth decay by as much as 60 percent.
Although the process was controversial in its early years, it is now endorsed by the American Dental Assn., the American Medical Assn., the U.S. Public Health Service, and the World Heath Organization, he said.