A proposal to ban fluoride from Fairbanks public drinking water drew support from nine people at Monday’s Fairbanks City Council meeting before the council scheduled a March public hearing on the measure.

Fairbanks resident Heather McIntyre, one of the supporters, joined others in suggesting online research indicates the type of fluoride compounds added to modern water systems is far different — and less healthy — than the type used when municipal fluoridation ordinances became commonplace in the United States.

“I say let’s get rid of this stuff now,” she said.

The ordinance, if approved by the council next month, would erase a five-decade-old city law requiring public water to be supplemented with fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.

A group of residents calling itself Fluoride Free Fairbanks has raised awareness of the practice, pointing to possible health concerns. The City Council listened to the group’s comments Monday before agreeing unanimously to schedule a March 10 formal public hearing on the ordinance, proposed by Councilwoman Vivian Stiver. The council could vote on the measure the same night.

Stiver said enough fluoride products are available through the marketplace to justify eliminating it from the water supply and leaving the choice to consumers.