Portland fluoride supporters are taking heart from Tuesday’s election in Scappose, when voters in the Columbia County city voted by a 3-2 margin to continue adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.
With voter turnout of 36 percen for the March 12 election, 60.5 percent voted to continue adding fluoride, according to unofficial results of the Measure 5-231 vote.
It costs Scappoose $5,000 annually to fluoridate its water.
The city has been adding approximately 0.7 milligrams of fluoride to every liter of water since 2000, but the practice was questioned earlier this year by former City Councilor Judie Ingham.
Ingham and Councilor Mark Reed said they were worried about the health effects of adding fluoride to drinking water, and Ingham claimed the practice contributed to her son’s case of fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis is a discoloration of tooth enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride.
Dentists and health experts across the nation say that adding fluoride to water is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to combat tooth decay and aid dental health.
The city council decided to put the question to voters in the form of a ballot measure.
“This is a big win for the people of Scappoose and for those who are working hard to keep this important health measure in place,” said Raquel Bournhonesque, co-chair of Health Kids, Healthy Portland. That’s the political action committee that is leading the campaign to fluoridate Portland’s Bull Run water supply.
After the Portland City Council voted in September to add fluoride to the water supply, critics gathered signatures to force a May referendum on the proposal.