A citizen’s group believes fluoridated water does more harm than good. On Dec. 8, Boothbay selectmen received a request to place an article on the May town meeting warrant seeking the removal of fluoride from the local water supply. Boothbay Region Water District began adding fluoride into the drinking water supply after Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor voters approved it in 2003.
Boothbay resident Eve Conlin previously supported fluoridation in the drinking water supply for improving public health. But she changed her mind after touring the BRWD plant recently with her family. Seeing district employees use great caution in handling fluoride alarmed her. “It’s highly corrosive to the eyes, skin and lungs. It was alarming seeing the workers dressed with face shields, thick chemical coats, and chemical gloves for protection.”
Conlin told selectmen this led her to more research. She discovered BRWD buys about 2,400 pounds of fluoride from the People’s Republic of China each year for $2,500. She had concerns about China’s reputation for adding arsenic and other tainted contaminants into exported products. Conlin also learned China hadn’t fluoridated its drinking water supply since the 1980s.
She discovered a study showing ingesting fluoride caused skeletal fluorosis, which results in damaged joints and bones, and dental fluorosis which results in faint white lines on the teeth. “The more reading I do results in learning ingesting fluoride causes more harm than good. There is also kidney, stomach, memory, learning, concentration and neurological problems caused by over consumption,” she said.
Trevor Morin also spoke on behalf off the group’s proposal. He works at BRWD. Morin began his remarks stating he doesn’t speak on behalf of the water district. “I’m concerned about it, too. Our purpose here tonight is not telling you fluoride is bad, but rather convincing you to call for a public vote,” he said.
Selectmen responded by reminding the group any proposal must be approved by voters in all three BRWD member towns. Selectmen urged the group to seek a uniform question prepared for municipal ballots in Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport.
In other action, selectmen voted 4-0 to place a moratorium on future Boothbay Common and other events held on municipal property. Selectman Steve Lewis proposed scheduling January workshops so the board could devise a set of guidelines for future uses. “Right now, all you need for a permit is $100, and if you leave it cleaned that’s returned. There really should be something more than that,” Lewis said. Selectmen want to create guidelines by March to allow Town Manager Dan Bryer to begin scheduling events for 2022.
Bryer announced Andy Wooster was hired as a public works crew member. Bryer reported Wooster previously worked for Rocktide and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. “He is a hard worker and a good addition,” Bryer said.
Selectmen meet next at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22 in the municipal building’s conference room.
*Original article online at https://www.boothbayregister.com/article/group-wants-public-vote-fluoridated-drinking-supply/154874