The local fluoride debate has been placed on hold by the Lambton Area Water Supply System board (LAWSS).
St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold asked for the delay this week until confirmation is received about a proposed national consultation process.
“The decision is not one to be taken lightly,” said Arnold, a board member. “I suggest we table the fluoride issue until we get information back from Health Canada that they are for sure going ahead with this.”
Arnold pointed to a document sent to the board from the Middlesex-London Health Unit, which states that the Ontario Ministry of the Environment has indicated that Health Canada hopes to commence, within this calendar year, “a national consultation process on the technical support document for the Canadian drinking water quality guideline for . Fluoride in Drinking Water.'”
But others argued that things need to happen sooner than later.
“We’d like it gone,” said Lambton Shores Deputy Mayor Carolyn Jamieson. “And we’d like the board to make a decision.”
The board has been debating for months whether fluoride should continue to be added to local drinking water.
Earlier this year, Health Canada study recommended lower optimal concentrations of fluoride in drinking water to protect children and infants.
The report’s authors recommend a level of 0.7 milligrams per litre as the optimal target. The maximum acceptable concentration is currently 1.5 mg/ L.
The local system is already well within those limits.
“I’m hearing overwhelming support to remove it,” said Arnold. “but I don’t want this to become an emotional issue; I want it to be based on science.”