Prince George, B.C. – The controversial matter of fluoridation of the City of Prince George’s water supply was brought to Council this evening with those who oppose it presenting information that indicates there is no positive effect of putting fluoride in the water. Speaking before a packed Council Chamber, the Safe Water Coalition brought forth numerous concerns about fluoridation.
According to the Safe Water Coalition;
• CDC and ADA warn infants should NOT consume fluoridated water
• CDC: Ingestion of fluoride is not likely to reduce tooth decay CDC (1999). Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries. MMWR, 48(41); 933-940, October 22
• EPA Scientists find fluoridation borders on a “criminal act” on the part of governments NTEU 1999 Hirzy
• NIH evidence for fluoridation is “incomplete” 2001 Consensus Development Conference Conclusion
• FDA toothpaste warning, if more than 0.25 mg is swallowed call the poison control center. (The same amount as found in ONE glass of fluoridated water)
• MostEuropean Dental Associations and Canadian Dental Ass. say “NO” toFluoride Supplements Zimmer 2003 and CDA has exceptions with expensive testing
The Safe Water Coalition says fluoridation can be linked to numerous health risks including lower I.Q.’s in children, and it may possibly be linked to bone cancer.
On the other side of the argument, the Prince George and District Dental Society presented an article to Council for consideration. The article supports fluoridation of water saying it has proven benefits of reducing the incidence of tooth decay and makes this preventive measure available to all regardless of your income.
Speaking on behalf of the P.G. District Dental Society, Dr. Suzanne Rozon told Council the evidence continues to mount on the benefits of fluoridation “The city of Kelowna used to have a 71.5% cavity free rate among teens. Since that city stopped putting fluoride in the water, that cavity free rate has dropped 56%.”
The PG. District Dental Society says Prince George has the lowest rate of dental decay among communities served by Northern Nealth’s dental hygienists. Many of the other communities do not have fluoride in their water. Dr. Arnold Steinbert says fluoride may not be the only solution to preventing carries, but “It is the best way we have to treating those people at risk, the children in our community, the seniors, those who don’t have access to proper dental care or proper diet.” Dr. Steinbert says even though there is fluoride in other sources, he is confident the amount in our water is safe.
Councilor Cameron Stolz made a comment “I drink well water, I have a few cavities, my kids drink City of Prince George water, they don’t have any cavities, that’s all I’m going to say.”
In B.C., less than 4% of community water is fluoridated (3.7%). Just last month, the City of Fort St. John Council voted to have that City’s staff work with Northern Health to determine the process involved to eliminate fluoride from Ft. St. John’s water.
In Prince George, fluoridation of the City’s water supply has been a practice since 1955. Chemicals alone cost the City about $30 thousand dollars a year, add the infrastructure on top of that and the bill is in the $70 thousand dollar range.
B.C. communities which have discontinued fluoridating their water include: Mackenzie, Squamish, Smithers, Port Hardy, Kitimat, Kimberly, Kelowna, Kamloops, Gold River, Golden, Courtney/Comox, Campbell River and Burns Lake.
Mayor Dan Rogers thanked both sides for their presentations, and says he expects the question about fluoridation will be asked again but for now, things will not change “At point 7 parts per million I think that Council is comfortable with where we are now. “