A group in Southeast Kansas wants to keep fluoride out of a town’s drinking water. According to the city of Parsons, fluoride has been added to the drinking water for the last fifty odd years. But now that the fluoride had to stop being added this summer due to a problem with the pipes at the water treatment plant. A new group in town hopes to keep it’s water fluoride free.
Nora Winslow is a Parsons resident who says she’s allergic to fluoride. Before June, she couldn’t use water from her tap because Parsons-like many other towns throughout the U.S.-added fluoride to the drinking water to help prevent tooth decay.
“I had a water filter, so I felt that took the fluoride out, but I found out later that it did not,” Winslow said.
Back in June Parsons stopped adding fluoride to it’s water when the pipe mixing the fluoride sprung a leak. The city of Parsons says that this is something it’s working on fixing-they’ve hired an engineer who will come up with a cost analyst and game plan of how to fix it in the next four to six months.
“We’ve given them ideas of what we would like to see, but then they have to make sure that is actually feasible,” said Parsons Director of Utilities Derek Clevenger.
But Winslow says a new group she is apart of called “Parsons for Pure Water” wants their water to stay fluoride free.
“Before I had not thought too much about it, it was just there, and I just didn’t think too much about it, but since then, but since then I feel like there are many dangers,” Winslow said.
Clevenger says that during the thirteen years he’s been working in Parsons-the subject of fluoride has come up every now and again from residents.
“There’s no middle ground for people, to be honest, it’s either you like it or you dislike it,” Clevenger said.
Though there is not a national requirement, back in April the U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin officially endorsed the addition of fluoride in drinking water. Claiming it is “one of the most effective choices communities can make to prevent health problems while actually improving the oral health of their citizens.”
But “Parsons For Pure Water” disagrees.
“They says it helps teeth decay, for the children, but studies have shown that in fluoride countries and non-fluoride countries tooth decay is down for all of them,” Winslow said.
Winslow says the group is against adding fluoride back into the water and against taxpayers paying for it. The group spoke at the City Commission meeting Monday night. The hope is that Commissioners will decide to let the residents vote as to whether to add fluoride back into the water.
We’re told repairing the leak likely wouldn’t be done until the spring.
For more information on the U.S. Surgeon General’s endorsement on fluoride, click here.
For more information on the group “Parsons For Pure Water”, click here.