The State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) recently voted unanimously to stop fluoridating the water supply. The Authority, which is an independent entity, is governed by a board of directors. The Authority serves a population of about 75,000 with an average of 5 million gallons of water per day. The service area includes the State College Borough and parts or all of Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris and Patton townships.
Current board members are all local residents who are scientifically trained professionals representing various aspects of water quality, source water protections, engineering and business management. Board members take the provision of clean, safe, reasonably priced water very seriously. The Authority spends millions of dollars every year updating and maintaining the system, testing and treating water, and protecting water sources.
The unanimous decision to begin the process of amending the SCBWA permit to exclude the injection of fluoride was made only after significant study by each voting board member. Each member and staff spent a substantial amount of time reading current peer-reviewed journal articles, reviewing presentations by expert medical professionals and scientists, and assessing information supplied to the board by the public concerning fluoridation and water treatment. The board also held two public meetings and heard testimony from numerous residents, interested parties, as well as medical, dental, and water quality professionals. The decision to stop fluoridation was not taken lightly, nor was it based on anecdotal evidence or political bias. The main points for the decision include:
- Supply chain issues complicate the acquisition of sodium fluoride;
- Sodium fluoride must be imported from China and is of questionable quality (contains trace heavy metals);
- Topical application of fluoride provides the majority of protective benefit against cavities;
- A mounting body of scientific evidence indicates that ingested fluoride can be harmful to the brain and body, particularly during early development;
- Systemic application removes medical consent and freedom of choice;
- Fluoride can only be removed from water by reverse osmosis and ion exchange resins, which may be financially difficult or unattainable for residents to install in their homes.
The board would like to thank all those who participated in the public meetings and those who supplied access to written information concerning the topic. Unfortunately, this has been a difficult issue; one board member, Dr. Bernard Hoffnar, chose to resign during the process. The board has regretfully accepted his decision. At the same time, we thank him for his service and his dedication to the community.
The board’s decision process was made challenging by individuals outside of our service area who have misrepresented and discredited the scientific evidence. Well-known experts caution against systemic fluoride application. For relevant summaries of the current scientific evidence and ongoing legal process surrounding community water fluoridation, please see: www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02924-6 and www.youtube.com/watch?v=88pfVo3bZLY.
Jeffrey Kern is the chairperson for the State College Borough Water Authority. This op-ed was written on behalf of all current board members.
*Original article online at https://www.aol.com/news/opinion-state-college-borough-water-135001366.html