The Durango Utilities Commission will hear arguments in favor of keeping fluoride in the city’s drinking water Monday evening from state and county health experts.
For more than 50 years, the federal government has recommended adding fluoride to drinking water to aid oral health and strengthen teeth.
The local effort to eliminate fluoride from drinking water has been lead by Dr. Jim Forleo, a chiropractor who says fluoride can have toxic effects on the body.
He argues fluoride may be helpful when applied topically, but there is no reason to drink it and it should not be forced on anyone.
“They are giving us a drug without our consent,” he said.
Telluride and Pagosa Springs have stopped adding fluoride.
Forleo presented his arguments to the Utilities Commission in November. Now the commission will hear about the merits of fluoridation from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk, the President of the San Juan Basin Dental Society Angela Pinkerton and others.
In April, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended lowering the dosage of fluoride in drinking water because so many people are exposed to fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash.
The previous recommendation was between 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter, but now, the government recommends capping the amount added to tap water at 0.7 milligram per liter. This equates to a drop of fluoride in a 55-gallon drum. The city followed this guidance in May.
Following a recommendation from the Utilities Commission, the Durango City Council will likely take up the issue.
The presentation on fluoride will start at 4:30 p.m. in City Hall, 949 E. Second Ave.