BRAMPTON— Protesters gathered outside Region of Peel headquarters in Brampton Saturday afternoon to rally against water fluoridation.
The group waved placards and banners against the Region of Peel’s continued practice of adding fluoride to the water supply.
Although fluoride is designed to improve standards of oral health and tackle tooth decay, protesters claim the substance carries health risks.
The group is calling for the water fluoridation scheme to be scrapped, claiming exposure to too much fluoride actually cause, rather than prevent, health problems.
“The people of Peel Region are being poisoned and those of us who are aware of the situation are not happy about it,” said event organizer Christine Massey in an e-mail. “If enough people object (Peel council) will be forced to end this harmful practice.”
Peel has added fluoride to municipal water for decades and a group of concerned residents has been trying hard to influence council’s hand on the practice of using hydrofluoroscilicic acid to fluoridate water.
Dentists and public health experts support fluoridation.
But residents want government and health officials to give them “real proof” that fluoridation is not dangerous to public.
They argue people should have a choice on whether their taps provide fluoridated or non-fluoridated water.
Protesters set up their “family friendly” event in front of regional headquarters, 10 Peel Centre, Dr., at around 2 p.m.
They planned to march up and down the sidewalk and handed out information pamphlets to pedestrians.
Peel Medical Officer of Health David Mowat said the region and regional council examined this issue “at great length” in 2011 and heard arguments on both sides. After that examination, regional councillors voted unanimously to continue fluoridation, he noted.
“Our water supply complies with all federal and provincial guidelines and standards,” Mowat said. “It’s safe.”
Fluoridation is a proven, effective way of reducing dental decay, he added. The region has reviewed massive amounts of scientific information and there is a long list of scientific, professional and government agencies that agree with the practice, Mowat said.
There is no “credible” data to indicate there is a health risk, he insisted.
– with files from Roger Belgrave