EDITOR: In a recent article in the Nov. 2 issue of The Daily Review it was noted that I was in opposition of mandatory fluoridation for public water systems. That is absolutely correct, and I am not alone in my opposition. The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Rural Water Association has also taken a stand against mandatory fluoridation. Some members of the association do fluoridate their water and the association feels that should remain a local decision. But the association strongly opposes mandatory fluoridation as a regulatory directive. Among the many good reasons to oppose mandatory fluoridation is that it is mandatory medication. Utility providers such as Troy Borough have a responsibility to provide clean safe potable water to the residents of our community. The community has a right to expect that what comes out of their taps is in fact clean safe water, fluoridation in no way contributes to that goal.
The Daily Review quoted sections of the bill that was introduced by State Rep. Steve Barrar that proclaimed the benefits of fluoridation. What the Review article failed to do was research any opposition to the bill and quote reasons for the opposition. All drugs have side effects and fluoride is no exception (just read the warning label on fluoride toothpaste). In a recent article in Keystone Tap – a publication of Pa. rural water – it was noted that (According to the latest review from the U.S. National Research Council (NRC), exposure to fluoride may weaken bones, cause joint pain, disrupt the thyroid and damage the brain). It was also noted that even the American Dental Association recently issued an advisory that infants should not drink fluoridated water – due to the risk of developing dental fluorosis.
From the point of unfunded government mandates, managers of water utilities constantly struggle to provide the highest possible quality product at the most reasonable cost. Who do you think is going to pay for not only the fluoride, but the system(s) necessary to introduce the appropriate dose of fluoride into a constantly fluctuating water supply? Today Troy Borough would have to fluoridate approximately 130,000 gallons of water each day. Six months ago that number would have been over 200,000. I question not only the ethics but also the economic feasibility of delivering medication through the water system. Consider that the average daily water consumption in the average household is estimated at 250 gallons per/day the majority of that water goes down the drain. Would it not make more sense to put the fluoride on the teeth where the bill claims it will do the most good?
Water treatment is needed to assure that water is safe and clean. Troy Borough utility employees constantly work to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water. Fluoridation is NOT water treatment! Please contact your representative in opposition to House Bill 1649.