SHELL LAKE- A discussion regarding the Shell Lake City Council’s unanimous decision in September to stop putting fluoride in city water was held during the council’s regular monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 13.

Two dentists; Dr. Dellin Bakkum, Dr. Edward Dunbar and Linda Jorgensen, a dental hygienist and president of the Northwest Wis. Dental Hygienists Association appeared at the meeting to share their professional stand point on maintaining fluoride in public water supply.

“Based on overwhelming evidence to date water fluoridation is considered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to be one of the ten most successful public health actions ever undertaken in our country,” said Dr. Bakkum.  Bakkum, of Green Valley Dental Care in Spooner, stated that the reasons that had spurred the decision; employee safety and cost to properly ventilate the two city pump houses that contain the fluoridation equipment, were justified.  Bakkum stated that an estimate to the cost of the concerns in the pump house was about $20,000 but that there is grant money available that the city should take advantage of to maintain the long-standing public procedure.

Two city residents voiced their opinions about the matter.  Randy Baker stated that he felt there had not been adequate communication with utility users about the change of procedure.  “I think it was ill advised to just throw it out, I think there should have been contact with the state health,” said Baker.

Kate Folstad also spoke but in favor of its discontinuation.  “I have an almost three-year-old who actually does have an intolerance to it and I just don’t believe that it is one more thing that somebody else should be deciding for me,” said Folstad. …