Over sixty years ago, a national public relations effort claimed that water fluoridation would greatly reduce tooth decay and posed no health risks. Today we have overwhelming evidence that neither claim is accurate.*
The 1952 campaign to fluoridate Sonoma County communities was part of the national effort. That year Santa Rosa and other cities voted to reject water fluoridation. With around 600 votes in favor, Healdsburg was the only city in the County to approve water fluoridation, which continues to the present.
In June, 118 Healdsburg residents signed a letter to the City Council requesting a warning in municipal water bills, alerting customers to the risk of dental fluorosis (mottled teeth) when babies drink formula mixed with fluoridated water. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign of systemic fluoride poisoning, and according to the Centers for Disease Control affects some 41% of U.S youths ages 12-15.
In July, 50 residents wrote to ask that the Council provide studies showing that drinking water treated with sodium fluoride does not cause health problems and is effective in reducing tooth decay, and asked that the studies be available to the public before the September 22 Town Hall Forum on Fluoridation.
At the same time, the Healdsburg City Council was invited to be the official sponsor of the Town Hall Forum, which will be held at Healdsburg City Hall the evening of September 22nd. Not a debate, the Forum will be an opportunity for residents to hear both sides of the issue presented, and to get answers from experts on both sides.
City Council sponsorship would be in keeping with recommendations of the 2013 Sonoma County Grand Jury Report on Fluoridation. The recommendations, made to the Board of Supervisors, are equally appropriate considerations for the Healdsburg City Council: “advise and inform all residents by multiple methods, e.g., utility bill inserts, bilingual notices through printed or social media, and radio, of its meetings, hearings, discussions, presentations, and votes relating to fluoridation” and “With respect to fluoridation…allowing for both pro and con views to be heard.”
There will be an opportunity to learn more about water fluoridation on Friday, August 15, at 6:00 pm, at Villa Chanticleer, 1248 N. Fitch Mountain Road, Healdsburg, at the free screening of “The Case Against Fluoridation,” by toxocologist Paul Connett, Ph.D. The movie will be followed by a public discussion, with questions answered by a local dentist and a local medical doctor. All are welcome. For more information about the Fluoride-Free Movie Night please email info@FluorideFreeHBG.org or call 707-547-7006. To learn more about Fluoride-Free Healdsburg, visit www.FluorideFreeHBG.org
* NOTE: For example, World Health Organization tooth decay statistics (1970-2010), the NIDR study (1986-1987), NRC Report (2006), and studies by Bassin (Harvard School of Dental Medicine 2001), Choi, et al (National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine 2012), and Grandjean (The Lancet 2014). Links or PDFs are available by request at CleanWaterSonomaMarin.org and FluorideAlert.org provides the most complete archive of fluoridation research.