The former head of the University of Toronto Preventative Dentistry and former president of the Canadian Association of Dental Research says there’s no cost savings to fluoridating our water.

Dr. Hardy Limeback presented his findings to Sarnia council during its public meeting on the divisive issue Monday.

He says according to Lambton Public Health, it costs $1.26 per resident annually.

“The cost for fluoridation, according to that $1.26 per person per year, would be about $5-million after 40 years, new equipment $1-million, cost to repair the fluorosis as estimated $4.3-million — a total of $10-million over the next 40 years,” says Dr. Limeback. “You’re saying you’re going to save a filling, per person, over the next 40 years. 100,000 people in the Lambton area, saving one filling per person, that’s $10-million. There’s no cost savings. None whatsoever.”

Dr. Limeback published a paper in 1993 stating that too much fluoride was being put in drinking water, or children were getting it from too many sources and developing bone problems because of it.

“I can tell you… I got a lot of flack from that, because fluoride was only suppose to be added to the drinking water to effect the teeth,” says Limeback.

He says fluoride only works topically and there are no benefit to swallowing it.

Dr. Limeback also mentioned that boiling water for infant formula is the worst thing you could do, because he claims that boiling water concentrates fluoride.

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade says fluoride remains a recognized effective public health intervention, and is supported by the World Health Organization, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), as well as the Canadian Dental Association.

“Currently the best available evidence suggests maintaining water fluoridation here, because there’s no naturally occurring supply,” says Dr. Ranade.

Ranade says he has a professional obligation to protect our health.

“I take that very, very seriously and I look at the evidence very seriously and I think the balance of evidence in this case strongly supports continued water fluoridation to the regulated levels. It’s very highly regulated, we’ve worked with LAWSS [Lambton Area Water Supply System], and we know what their procedures are and they do a great job of regulating the water system in terms of the parameters to make sure the water is safe.”

Sarnia council went on the record in 2013 supporting the removal of fluoride from our drinking water.

But, the 5-4 recorded vote didn’t change the outcome, because legally four out of the six Lambton Area Water Supply System member municipalities had to vote against fluoridation to have it removed. The other municipalities didn’t agree, so it remained.

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