Stop us if you’ve heard this one: Healdsburg voters will be deciding whether to continue the city’s 60-year practice of fluoridating its water. If that sounds familiar, it should. Residents voted on the same issue just two years when, by a nearly 2-1 margin, they supported the city’s continued use of fluoride.
Nevertheless, the issue is back, this time as Measure T. But the wording is different — and far more convoluted. Measure T asks whether the city should stop fluoridation until the manufacturer identifies “any contaminants in the fluoridating chemical batch” and provides “a toxicological report and verification of safety for the fluoridating chemical?”
In 2014, voters needed to say “yes” to support fluoridation. Now, they need to say “no” or risk seeing it perish under the weight of endless reports requiring the testing of every batch, all to prove something that history has already shown to be safe and effective. Studies show that communities that fluoridate their drinking water on average have lower rates of tooth decay than those that don’t. That’s why 75 percent of the public water systems in the nation are fluoridated, including those in San Francisco and New York.
As we’ve said before, Healdsburg’s fluoridation system costs roughly 6 cents for every 1,000 gallons of water delivered from Fitch Mountain. Studies have shown that every $1 invested in fluoridation saves an estimated $38 in dental treatment costs.
Healdsburg should keep a good thing going and reject fear tactics. Vote no on Measure T.