Concerned Neosho residents are starting to talk about the recent city council meeting in regards to Operation Smiles and their proposal to put fluoridation into the water system.
Fluoridation is the process of adding fluoride to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay.
“Fluoride came into prominence in the mid ’40s with the Manhattan Project, the first atomic bomb construction,” said A.W. Lavender. “And it was a big item in that atomic bomb, and they had to have a whole lot of it.
“As a result of the fluoride used in the atomic bomb, there were some land and animals downwind, this downwind location of these rich farmlands in fruits and produce caused them to be uneatable,” said Lavender. “The farmers then went broke.”
According to Lavender, in the last few years there have been a lot of government documents that have been declassified.
“There were two men that found a bunch of stuff in these documents that just about refutes any beneficial affects that fluoride might have,” said Lavender.
According to information provided by Lavender, “many scientists believe there is a direct connection with cases of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, infertility and hyperactivity.”
“Fluoride is very acidic and it does not stay only with the teeth, but travels to the soft tissues, such as the brain and the kidneys,” said Lavender.
In an earlier interview with the Neosho Daily News, Page Duffy of fluoridation supporters Operation Smiles, said “the water fluoride cost per individual would be $3.80 to their water bill, compared to the $200 for each child (for fluoride prescriptions).”
According to provided information “at $3.83 per person per year, a city of 10,600 can expect to pay at least $40,600 annually just for the chemical alone. This does not include the cost of equipment, maintenance, replacements, protective clothing for workers and worker’s compensation claims.”
Along with the cost figures, Lavender stated “only two percent of the fluoride will be used in drinking water, while 98 percent will be used for non-drinking water, such as watering lawns or even flushing toilets.”
Lavender pointed out the label on the toothpaste label which reads “Warning: as with all fluoride toothpaste, keep out the reach of children under 8 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional assistance or contact a poison control center immediately.
The city council decided to table the manner for 30 days to research information on both sides of the fluoridation issue.
“I see four courses of action that this council could take: No. 1, we can develop an ordinance and pass it and instruct the powers that be (city of Neosho) to add fluoride to our water supply,” said Mayor Howard Birdsong, during the last meeting. “(Second), we could not pass the ordinance, just forget about it. No. 3 ,we can — on our own — develop a ballot issue, take it to the voters and let the voters decide what they want to do. Or the council could decide that the issue is not worth pursuing at all. At that point, a petition drive by those who want fluoridation in the water supply could garner enough signatures of register voters in the city to put on the ballot.”
“I hope that the city council will just say no (adding fluoride to the water), I hope that is what they will do,” said Lavender. “The second best thing that I would consider is to please let the citizens of the community vote on it.”
If the issue did pass, Lavender said, “I would buy bottled water.”