Sonoma city officials could consider joining Cotati in opposing fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.
City Council members will dive into the issue Wednesday night after anti-fluoridation activist Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh urged them to take action against a proposal to add fluoride to water supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency. The city gets about 95 percent of its water from the agency.
“I’m reaching out to every city that’s affected,” Gallagher-Stroeh said. “My sole purpose to putting it on the agenda is to open it up for discussion.”
The county is considering fluoridation as part of a multipronged effort to prevent tooth decay and reduce dental care costs. Health officials say it’s the best intervention after a recent survey revealed 51 percent of kindergartners and third-graders experience tooth decay.
“The lack of dental health is a severe problem in Sonoma County,” said Dr. Karen Milman, the county’s health officer. “We know 18 percent of kindergartners in Sonoma County are in need of dental care and 4 percent need it urgently.”
However, Gallagher-Stroeh argued fluoridation is unsafe and an ineffective way to deal with tooth decay. She wants city officials to challenge the county.
It’s not the first time the matter has come before the Sonoma City Council.
In 2013, former Councilman Steve Barbose requested the city send a letter to the county in opposition to adding fluoride to the drinking water after presentations from both county officials and fluoridation critics.
“But it was never sent,” Mayor David Cook said Tuesday about the letter.
City Manager Carol Giovanatto said the letter wasn’t written “because the county is still drafting and reviewing the fluoridation plans.”