Fluoride Action Network

Halton: Fluoride issue goes before committee

Source: insideHalton.com | Canadian Champion Staff
Posted on October 4th, 2011
Location: Canada, Ontario

A group of concerned citizens say it’s time for Halton to join a growing list of Canadian communities that have stopped adding fluoride to their municipal water system.

The residents were responding to a report presented at last Tuesday’s health and social services meeting that urges the Region to continue adding fluoride to drinking water.

“There is no such thing as fluoride deficiency disease. We can have perfectly healthy teeth and bones without consuming it. And no one is monitoring how much (fluoride) we ingest,” said Mary Maciel Pearson, one of four delegates who encouraged the committee to move to end the practice of fluoridation.

Pearson raised her concerns about fluorosis, a condition that occurs when a child swallows too much fluoride during the tooth formation years (up to 6 years old for front teeth). The effects can range from white flecks to brown staining on the tooth surface.

A 2006 Regional report shows 22 per cent of nine-year-olds in Halton had fluorosis and 64 per cent of those cases were mild fluorosis and the symptoms were only cosmetic. Information on the health department’s website says fluoridated drinking water greatly reduces the number of cavities in children.

Those at the meeting, however, said not enough research has been done on the health effects associated with ingesting fluoride in water.

“Studies from British Columbia show when communities in that province discontinued fluoridation cavity rates actually decreased,” said Oakville resident Cindy Mayor. “And a review done for the Quebec Ministry of the Environment back in 1979 showed even back then there was an increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated water. Water fluoridation is almost non-existent in B.C. and Quebec.”

According to the Canadian Dental Association, as of 2007 45.1 per cent of Canadians had access to fluoridated water supplies. The percentage of the population with fluoridated water ranges widely, from 3.7 per cent in B.C., 6.4 per cent in Quebec and 1.5 per cent in Newfoundland and Labrador to 75.9 per cent in Ontario and 69.9 per cent in Manitoba.

A vote to end water fluoridation in Waterloo last October narrowly passed by 50.3 per cent. In May of this year, Calgary city council voted to end fluoridation, with an estimated cost saving of $750,000 a year.

Following an hour of delegations, Oakville Mayor Rob Burton requested that the health department prepare a report on water fluoridation in Halton for January and that a notice of the report is made public to enable “full and fair consideration of all views on the subject.” The motion passed.

The Region adds fluoride to the water supply in Burlington, Halton Hills, Oakville and the new developments in Milton. Municipal water in old Milton, supplied by ground water, doesn’t have added fluoride.