Halton Region will have to take the lead in the fluoridation of Milton water after Town council refused to open the can of worms.
Councillor Rick Malboeuf brought forward a motion Monday that would’ve seen council declare its support for fluoridation.
But the motion was withdrawn after several councillors said they had no interest in getting involved before they hear what the community wants.
“In the ’70s, residents voted strongly not to put it in and I don’t think anything has changed,” said Councillor Art Melanson.
“Our water system has been damaged enough with the chlorine, manganese and whatever else is in there.”
In bringing forward the motion, Mr. Malboeuf said he was seeking endorsement ahead of an effort by Halton’s medical officer of health, Dr. Bob Nosal, to fluoridate water from wells serving urban Milton.
Milton’s new sub-division areas already receive fluoridated water from Oakville, but the rest of Milton is fed by the wells at Kelso Conservation Area and isn’t fluoridated.
Halton Region is responsible for water services and regional council’s approval would be required before fluoridation could begin.
Town council approval isn’t required for the Region to move forward with the project.
In a report presented to regional council in October, Dr. Nosal identified non-fluoridated water as the likely source for higher tooth decay in Milton’s children, compared to the rest of the region.
According to a survey of 1,522 children (ages five, seven and nine), 53 per cent of Milton children have dental decay, six per cent of which require urgent care.
That compares to a 49 per cent decay rate in Burlington, a 48 per cent decay rate in Halton Hills and a 42 per cent decay rate in Oakville.
“There’s been no adverse effects (from fluoridation) in these other areas. This may help us with problems with dental disease in seniors, not just children,” said Mr. Malboeuf. “It’s time Milton joined in on this.”