City of Plattsburgh officials heard a strong message Tuesday night from people supporting the fluoridation of drinking water.

“I am here to offer you something that can improve your health, is cost-effective and you don’t have to do anything to get it,” Clinton County Health Department Director Paula Calkins-Lacombe said at a special meeting with the Common Council.

“All you have to do is drink or cook with the water.”

The city has been fluoridating its water supply since 1956.

But recent alarms by the Fluoride Action Network have some councilors considering removing it from the water system.

Paul Connett, executive director of the Fluoride Action Network in St. Lawrence County, claims fluoride can be harmful in that it could be linked to lower intelligence quotients in children.

Dentists, backed by studies from the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control, say that fluoride, at minimal levels, is safe, makes teeth stronger and prevents tooth decay.


Among Connett’s claims are that dentists support fluoride despite the possible ill effects because they do not want children to have cavities.

This would allow them more time to deal with adult tooth problems, which can fetch more money.

“That is just a ludicrous statement,” said Dr. Robert Heins, a dentist for 40 years.

“I have dealt with this person (Connett) in the past, and I have nothing good to say about him and his followers. They are dishonest, and they know their studies are junk science.”

Heins said he has been treating patients who use fluoride for decades and has seen the benefits without any harm.

“I’ve been treating patients for 40 years. This clown (Connett) has never treated a single patient.