The mid-term election is just days away, and in Saline County, one of the hot topics on the ballot involves fluoride in the drinking water.
Salina neighborhoods are covered in signs that are for and against keeping fluoride in the water, but as the election gets closer, more residents are voicing their opinions.
Lou Tryon thinks Salina’s water is poisoned. She is part of a grassroots campaign that is voting “yes” on November 4th to get fluoride out of the water. Tryon wants residents to have the right to make that decision, not the county commissioners.
“It is a poison that destroys the nervous system, and so yes, it’s very harmful,” Tryon said.
But not everyone feels the same. Doctor Allison Lesko, a Salina dentist, says she will be voting “no” next week, which will keep fluoride in the water.
“Fluoride is a great thing, it helps reduce cavities,” Lesko said. “Cavities are obviously at epidemic levels right now, and we want to be able to prevent, and keep our communities healthy.”
One of the main concerns for both groups is the future of the kids.
“Really it’s the children, we want to protect the children,” Tryon said.
“Depending on which grade level they were, anywhere from 90 to 200 percent increase in cavities within that five years. So this is something that we are going to see and we obviously don’t want to see that for Salina, we want to keep them healthy and that’s why we want to keep the water fluoridated,” Lesko said.
Tyron says, even if the vote does not go in her favor, the group will keep trying.
“We will continue to fight, we will not give up, we will continue to fight,” Tyron said.
Salina has been adding fluoride to the water since 1968.