The State College Borough Water Authority (SCBWA) recently voted unanimously to stop fluoridating the water supply. The authority, which is an independent entity, is governed by a board of directors. The authority serves a population of about 75,000 with an average of 5 million gallons of water per day. The service area includes the State College Borough and parts or all of Benner, College, Ferguson, Harris, and Patton townships.
Current board members are all local residents who are scientifically trained professionals representing various aspects of water quality, source water protections, engineering and business management. Board members take the provision of clean, safe, reasonably priced water very seriously. The authority spends millions of dollars every year updating and maintaining the system, testing and treating water and protecting water sources.
The unanimous decision to begin the process of amending the SCBWA permit to exclude the injection of fluoride was made only after significant study by each voting board member. Each member and staff spent a substantial amount of time reading current peer-reviewed journal articles, reviewing presentations by expert medical professionals and scientists, and assessing information supplied to the board by the public concerning fluoridation and water treatment. The board also held two public meetings and heard testimony from numerous residents, interested parties, as well as medical, dental and water quality professionals. The decision to stop fluoridation was not taken lightly, nor was it based on anecdotal evidence or political bias. The main points for the decision include:
· Supply chain issues complicate the acquisition of sodium fluoride;
· Sodium fluoride must be imported from China and is of questionable quality (contains trace heavy metals);
· Topical application of fluoride provides the majority of protective benefit against cavities;
· A mounting body of scientific evidence indicates that ingested fluoride can be harmful to the brain and body, particularly during early development;