LANCASTER — In 1983, Mayor Ken Mace vetoed legislation that would have put fluoride in Lancaster’s drinking water.
On Monday night, that legislation will be back.
Two pieces of legislation will be introduced to City Council that would add fluoride to the city’s drinking water to a level of 1 milligram per liter.
Fluoride is believed to aid in the development of teeth and prevent tooth decay.
But Jo Ann Bainter, 78, Lancaster, opposes the move. She says adding fluoride would be expensive and benefit few residents, mainly young children. She thinks residents should be allowed to vote on the issue.
“This will be a huge additional expense to the city. You have to hire more people, train them, provide storage and test the water.
“Do I need fluoride to water my lawns or clean the car? It will be a big expense with no gain.”
Bainter also said she didn’t want her water polluted with chemicals.
Fluoride in large doses is a natural poison used in rat poison and in some pesticides.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Public Health Service say exposure to levels between 0.7 to 1.2 milligram per liter have been proven to strengthen teeth in children and have not shown any harmful side effects.
Michele Carr, assistant professor at Ohio State University’s Dental Hygiene Department, said adding fluoride in drinking water helps the formation of teeth in young children.
“If a child doesn’t have enough fluoride in their bodies as teeth are forming in children’s gums, the teeth will not form correctly,” Carr said.
Carr said putting fluoride in the water system is important because using toothpaste or rinses with fluoride doesn’t get fluoride into a child’s body where teeth are being formed.
The Fairfield County Board of Health will give a presentation on the topic during the meeting.
Pat Navin of the Fairfield Department of Health’s Fluoridation Committee said members also will give presentations.
Councilman Carl Tatman, R-3rd Ward, chairman of the Water Committee, said there will be time to debate the legislation.
“We are going to have three readings and may have a public hearing on it before a final vote,” Tatman said. “We aren’t trying to put anything over on the people. We want to hear all sides.”