BRANCH COUNTY — As voters head to the polls Tuesday, voters in Union City and Bronson will see additional issues on the ballot.
In Union City, voters will make a decision on whether or not the village of Union City should continue to add flouride to the public water supply.
Union City Village President Bill Avery said that the village decided last year to put this on the ballot once again. The decision was made due to the constant complaints over the past years from village residents who do not want fluoride in the water.
Union City has 700 customers in the village, and the public water supply has contained fluoride after being added in November of 2004.
Avery said there are concerns about keeping fluoride in the water any longer, and many citizens do not want it.
“Due to feedback from from citizens, we decided late last year to put this back on the ballot,” Avery said. “People have been opposed for years.”
Avery explained that one of the main concerns with the issue is that the residents of the village may be getting too much exposure to the mineral, which can be consumed through other applications, such as toothpaste. He also said that it costs the village to monitor the fluoride and equipment.
Despite claims to the contrary, the Center for Disease Control reports that there are no adverse effects to normal fluoridation levels. All Branch County water systems add the fluorosillic acid to the recommended fluoride level of 0.7 milligrams per liter of water.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St.Joseph Community Health Agency reported that fluoridation is a safe, cost-effective and efficient public health measure.
Fluoride is found in all natural water to some degree.
Dentists are found to have conflicting opinions on this issue. A previous world tour study conducted by a New Zealand dentist John Colquhoun, D.D.S., showed that tooth decay had declined in areas with fluoridated water, but there was virtually no difference in tooth decay rates between the fluoridated and no- fluoridated places. In fact, teeth were slightly better in the non-fluoridated areas, according to the study.
Retired Union City dentist Dr. Charles Morton stated in a 2003 report that “too much fluoride will turn teeth dark.”
On the ballot for Bronson is the Bronson Township Fire millage renewal proposal for fire protection and equipment. …