Loretta Roth, 1745 R Street, said the fluoride in the water has occurred a long time and it needs to be updated. Mrs. Roth said fluoride is a dangerous toxin that causes cancer and other diseases. Data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin C, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems. Fluoride that otherwise would be an air and water pollutant is no longer a pollutant as long as it is poured in our reservoir. Fluoride is actually altering the basic architecture of human bones. Mrs. Roth indicated that the data for the fluoridation of the public water supply is 50 years old and questionable at best and said there are several lawsuits in process.
Todd Pieper, DDS, indicated that Sterling Colorado has fluoridated for 30 years and the cavity rate there is lower than here. Fluoride makes the surface of the tooth harder for pathogens to stick to resulting in lower cavities. With six or seven years of intake of fluoridated water, it makes the tooth enamel substantially harder. One means of protecting teeth is through the water fluoridation and as a community, we can help by making sure the water is fluoridated. The American Dental Association is adamant that fluoride is the number one development in cavity prevention.
Wayne Trook, 850 N Street, presented a comprehensive list of the scientific facts of fluoride. Fluoride confuses the immune system, inhibits antibiotic in the blood, promotes development of bone cancer and causes premature aging of the body. Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud in this century.
Loretta Muhr, 2215 19th Street, indicated that the excess of fluoride collects in the thyroid gland and builds up. Her daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and she wondered if this was caused by the water she has consumed her entire life.
Doug McDaniel, 2020 19th Street, said the Scandinavian nations do not fluoridate their water and do not use fluoride in their table salt. He spoke about DMFT, decayed, missing, filled teeth and studies done on the efficacy of fluoridation for tooth decay and the majority of studies were poor quality studies. Fluoride has been used as a treatment for overactive thyroid and the second most widely prescribed medicine was to suppress the effect of fluoride on thyroid. He commented it is not right to force everyone in the City to be medicated.
Bill Wineman, Scotts Bluff County Health Officer, presented information of the benefits and uses of fluoridation. He indicated it is difficult to know what is a valid study and what isn’t. Some of the studies show communities which have added fluoride have shown a 20% to 40% decrease in the need for dental care. Mr. Wineman added that there will still be fluoride in the water as it is a naturally occurring element in our water. Based on the recommendations from the American Dental Association, Center for Disease Control, the Nebraska Health Department, they believe the decision to fluoridate is right and all endorse the use of fluoride in public water supplies.
Sandy Briggs, 1510 4th Street, maintains that fluoride should not be forced on citizens because there are a few people who are undisciplined to take care of their teeth.
Dr. Don Gentry indicated the American Academy of Family Practices is in favor of fluoridation in our City water. There are numerous underserved children in our area and it is very difficult for these children to get the proper dental care. He would feel very uncomfortable with the City of Gering removing the fluoride from the water.
Jamalee Clark, 1720 Beverly, commented that when accessing the internet, one needs to check the sources. She indicated that she is in favor of having the fluoride in the water.
Pat Heath, Director of Public Works, indicated the City relies on scientific data from the EPA, Department of Health and other information from doctors.
Marilyn Einfalt, 2209 Avenue N, Scottsbluff, indicated that not only are citizens receiving fluoride from the naturally occurring fluoride, but also from food.
Don Roth, 1745 R Street, said he spends extra money to buy bottled water because he doesn’t want fluoride in his water. It should be put to a vote by the public to see if they have a choice.
Mayor Lehl indicated that when the council voted in 1997 to add fluoride to the water, there was very little opposition at that time.
Councilmember McFarland moved and Christensen seconded to refer the request to remove fluoride from the city water supply to the Public Works Committee to continue discussion. On roll call vote, the following voted “AYE”: Doll, Christensen, Gibbs, McFarland, Hillman-Kortum, Koob, Morrison and Wiedeman. “NAY”: None. Absent: None.