The Grey Bruce Health Unit is getting ready to fight for fluoride in our drinking water.
The health unit will form a committee to outline the benefits of fluoride at an upcoming public participation meeting at Owen Sound council.
Medical Officer of Health, Doctor Hazel Lynn, tells Bayshore Broadcasting News fluoride is important for the under privileged kids in our region who can’t afford to look after their teeth.
Lynn say fluoride helps strengthen their teeth — as well as the teeth of seniors.
Lynn believes some people are against the idea of fluoride in their water because they don’t know all of the facts.
Owen Sound is actually the only municipality in our region that adds fluoride to the water, others have it naturally occurring.
Owen Sound has been adding it since 1965 with an average of 0.6 mg per litre of water.
Council will vote to have a plebiscite – or referendum – in 2014 on the issue.
A referendum can also be triggered by a petition signed by 10 per cent of voters and handed to city hall by June 1st.
The issue would then be forwarded to the next municipal ballot.
Lynn says this is an equity issue — the people who lose when you take fluoride away are the ones that can least afford to.
Lynn also wants to see fluoride added to some municipalities in our region, including reserves where there is a high rate of dental decay.
The Medical Officer of Health feels that our rural area and our poor people are at risk and need fluoride.
She adds that If you look at how good the kids teeth are in Owen Sound, the silent majority should say they want that for their kids as well.
It has been used safely for 50 years and there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t be able to drink fluoride, Lynn says.
There have been three plebiscites in Owen Sound and fluoride has come out on top each time.
35 Ontario communities have removed fluoride from their water since 2000 – including Windsor who did it against the advice of their health unit.
No date or location has been set for the public participation meeting.