Anti-fluoride organizers have been busy in Saskatoon and area in recent weeks, although pro-fluoride forces say their fears are groundless.
Saskatoon, along with many other cities around North America, adds fluoride to its drinking water to prevent tooth decay.
However, critics argue fluoride isn’t effective at preventing cavities and it’s generally harmful to one’s health.
In Saskatoon, Daeran Gall has been collecting names on an online petition to stop fluoridation in the city.
(Saskatoon’s fluoridation equipment was temporarily stopped earlier this year, but the city said that was just while some work at the water treatment plant was being done.)
Gall is about halfway towards his goal of 2,000 signatures and plans to go to council in June.
“There is no mandate for city council to medicate the population,” Gall said.
About 100 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, in Wakaw, Tim Loncarich has launched his own anti-fluoridation campaign.
Because the Wakaw plant treats water for a dozen other communities, including Humboldt, he’ll have to get residents in those other communities on side too.
He says he’ll try.
“The health of my family is important to me. And if that’s what it takes to ensure that our water supply is safe, then that’s what I’ll do,” he said.
Meanwhile, the dean of dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan dismisses fears raised about fluoridation.
Gerry Uswak says he relies on reviews by national and international organizations.
“Time and time again the results say that community water fluoridation at the levels that are currently being recommended is safe and effective,” he said.
Uswak says an end to fluoridation would have the greatest impact on people who can’t afford dental care.