HUBER HEIGHTS — A group of 2010 Wayne High School graduates are calling on city council to help their efforts of getting fluoride removed from the city’s drinking water as a matter of public safety.
“We were shocked to see there was a substantial amount of fluoride in the water supply,” said Chase Warden, 18, speaking at Monday’s city council meeting. “Fluoride is a very toxic substance.”
Warden and a group of his friends said their research of independent sources found that the benefits of fluoride are outweighed by the risks, which include fluorosis, a dental condition characterized by cracking, mottling and pitting of the teeth.
The teenagers cited the city’s 2009 Annual Water Quality Report as proof of there being dangerous levels of fluoride in Huber Heights’ drinking water.
The report indicates the city’s drinking water contains between 0.82 to 1.14 milligrams per liter of fluoride.
But according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking water is safe as long as it does not reach the maximum contaminant level of 4 grams per litre.
The CDC estimates about 70 percent of U.S. residents who have public water systems receive fluoridated water. The agency said fluoridating public water was one of the 10 greatest public health interventions in the U.S. in the 20th century because of the dramatic decline in tooth decay it helped facilitate.
Jen House, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Health, said more than 60 years of research shows that fluoridating drinking water is safe and highly beneficial to oral health.
“We certainly believe fluoridation is the single most important step a community can take to improve the dental health of their residents,” House said.
Huber Heights has added fluoride to its drinking water since 1969, when the state passed a law requiring cities with more than 5,000 people to fluoridate their drinking water. It would take an act of the legislature to change the law.
Alexandria Turpin, 18, said her group is seeking exactly that: They want the city’s endorsement before they lobby state officials to change the law.
Turpin said the group expects to meet with council members in August to argue their case against fluoride. She said the chemical can cause bone cancer and other diseases.