There is some political desire to stop adding fluoride to local drinking water, according to chair of the committee reviewing community water fluoridation in Peel.
But Carolyn Parrish emphasized those councillors must find solid scientific ammunition to carry out such a bold attack on widely accepted beliefs about the health benefits of this longstanding water treatment practice.
The Mississauga regional councillor, who is also chair of Peel’s newly formed fluoride subcommittee, has joined most others on the seven-member committee in declaring their position on fluoridation is still fluid and will be determined on the basis of the scientific information, research and opinion gathered during this examination of water fluoridation and oral health in Peel.
Despite the professed undecided positions, Parrish said most committee members are looking for a good reason to support an end to fluoridation.
“Six of the seven members of the committee are seeking sufficient factual data to delete the fluoride supplement added to our drinking water,” Parrish said in an email. “I am hoping we can build a strong case based on the best research, most recent research available.”
She mentioned concerns about the type of fluoride being added to Peel’s drinking water supply.
The anti-fluoride lobby has insisted hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFSA) is a highly toxic form of fluoride, produced as a waste by-product of the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process.
Proponents of fluoridation contend HFSA is completely safe and widely used. The Region of Peel said the water-based liquid additive used in Peel is NSF 60 (National Sanitation Foundation) certified, as required under the Safe Drinking Water Act, meets purity standards and complies with all Ministry of Environment and Climate Change regulations.
The committee’s recommendation would then have to be approved by the majority of the 24-member council.
Peel Council faced a similar debate on fluoridation five years ago.