As the launch date draws near for the new water treatment plant, the DeKalb Utility District Board of Commissioners has decided against fluoridation of the water supply to their customers.
DUD Manager Jon Foutch told WJLE Wednesday that the recent decision by the board was unanimous but that before any action was taken, notices, as required by law, were sent to customers with their monthly bills. According to Foutch, only four customers have expressed an opinion and all were opposed to fluoridation of their water supply.
“Fluoride is a naturally occurring element found in most all waters in Tennessee. Surface water as in lakes or rivers has less amounts than ground water sources. Fluoride is in other sources such as toothpaste, mouthwash and fluoride treatments from the dentist. Some dietary supplements and packaged foods also have fluoride added. Any product made with water, soft drinks, tea, coffee, or sprayed with water, such as fruits or vegetables, also has fluoride if their water source is fluoridated,” he said
“Fluoride, while regulated by the state, is not mandated as it serves no purpose in the treatment of water. It does not aid in the clarifying or disinfection of the water. It is purely an additive to the water that helps in the development of teeth in young children”.
“While tap water is perfectly safe to drink, more and more people are drinking bottled water which does not contain fluoride”.
“For many years, the normal dose of fluoride in treated water was 0.7 to 1.2 ppm (parts per million). That has been lowered to a recommended level of 0.7 ppm “to curb a rise in dental fluorosis in the United States” as stated in the article from the Journal of American Medicine,” he said.
The Journal of American Medicine Bridget M. Kuehn
JAMA. 2011;305(8):770. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.181
In a letter to Foutch, John J. Dreyznehner, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, advised the DUD to fluoridate its water supply in the interest of good oral health. “I am concerned how a negative vote will impact the most vulnerable members of your community, in particular, the oral health of your children. Community water fluoridation is the most natural and cost-effective means of protecting residents in a community from tooth decay. While fluoride is present in all water, water fluoridation is the adjustment to a recommended level for preventing tooth decay,” he wrote.
“Seventy years of intensive scientific research and experience with water fluoridation in the United States and sixty-five years in Tennessee have proven community water fluoridation is safe and effective. It has been endorsed by numerous U.S. Surgeons General, and more than one-hundred organizations. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized community water fluoridation as one of the top ten public health achievements of the twentieth century. It is also exceptionally cost effective; $1 on community fluoride saves $38.00 in dental care costs,” wrote Commissioner Dreyzehner.
The City of Smithville currently fluoridates its water supply.