TRAVERSE CITY — Ben Hansen wasn’t happy about Traverse City commissioners’ decision to continue adding fluoride to the public water supply.
“I am baffled, I am disappointed, and I am disgusted by what happened (June 16),” Hansen said of commissioners’ vote.
Hansen, a leader of the group Fluoride Free in TC, hopes to put the issue to voters on the November ballot. He and others are working to pull together a petition to circulate among Traverse City voters to create an ordinance that would stop the fluoridation.
“We don’t think it’s a good idea to add any chemical to the water that isn’t absolutely necessary for water treatment,” Hansen said.
City commissioners voted 5 to 1 to continue fluoridation. The city adds fluorosilicic acid to the municipal water to bring fluoride levels up it the federally recommended level. Hundreds of studies confirm that water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay and is safe, according to a press release from the Grand Traverse County Health Department.
Commissioners typically reach out to local doctors and dentists whenever the issue comes up.
“One hundred percent of the responses came back, not only from dentists but from doctors,that there were no ill effects, to the best of their information, from adding fluoride,” Mayor Michael Estes said. “They said it was positive for dental care. That’s been consistent from all the local dentists and doctors that have come before the city commission.”
The petition would need to have signatures from 527 registered Traverse City voters and be filed with the city clerk’s office by July 29. Once a petition is filed, city commissioners can either vote to adopt the ordinance or send the issue to the voters.