ROCKPORT — With Monday’s Fall Town Meeting fast approaching, the dominant article up for discussion is one on which there is no middle ground.
The fluoride item on the warrant for Monday’s 7 p.m. meeting at Rockport High School calls for placing a referendum question on a state ballot or an article before an annual Town Meeting that would ask: “Are you in favor of discontinuing the fluoride supplementation of the Rockport Water Supply?”
But members of the Cape Ann Fluoride Action Network (CAFAN) say they won’t go away until fluoride is out of the drinking water, and the 35 Gloucester and Rockport dentists who signed a letter to the Times in favor of continuing fluoridation say the opposition’s arguments are absurd.
“Do I really want to compromise with people who are trying to poison me?” asked Barbara Goll, one of the leaders behind the network.
The anti-fluoride group’s main concern is that they consider fluoride a toxin, plain and simple, and they don’t want it in their water supply in any amount. Dentists are worried they’ll see a level of tooth decay that was common in years past if fluoride is removed from the water supply.
Asked whether she thought tooth decay would increase, Goll said toothpaste contains enough fluoride, compared to the very low percentage of the chemical in water.
“What a silly thought,” she said. “Fluoridation is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever come across in my life,” said Goll, who has been working to get the chemical out of her water ever since her dog fell ill, possibly because of fluoride exposure.
She, and many other CAFAN members believe that part of the reason community fluoridation is so prevalent in the U.S. is because corporations are dumping the chemical as a means of getting rid of their own waste.
“If they emitted it into the air, or dumped it directly into the sea, they would be in violation of the law,” Goll said. “It’s the biggest scam.”