I have just read a report that the citizens of Portland, Oregon rejected adding fluoridation chemicals to their water by a 61% to 39% margin. These voters agreed, like most western nations, that there are safer, more effective and less intrusive ways to promote oral health than adding to the water supply a chemical linked to thyroid disease, lowered IQ and other ailments.
What revelations, actions and facts proved to be significant in achieving this outcome? Here they are:
1. Fluoride chemicals are the only chemicals added to public water for the purpose of medication. Most western countries, including the vast majority of Europe, do not fluoridate their water.
2. Those opposed did their homework, relying on recent scientific findings from the National Research Council (NRC) and Harvard that raise serious questions about the safety of current fluoride exposures.
3. In 2006, the NRC warned that current fluoride exposures in the US may increase the risk of thyroid disease, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders, and bone damage — particularly among people who have medical conditions that increase their vulnerability to fluoride. The NRC called on scientists to investigate fluoride’s role in chronic disease, but government health authorities have opted against funding this research.
4. In Portland, opposition to fluoridation included the regional Sierra Club, the Portland branch of the NAACP, Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality employees union, and more than 200 local medical professionals. National leaders also weighed in, including Ralph Nader, Lois Gibbs, John Stauber, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, and esteemed scientists Drs. Theo Colborn, William Hirzy and two members of the NRC’s review.
5. Portland’s vote comes just six months after voters in Wichita, Kansas soundly rejected fluoridation by a 20% margin, and follows close on the heels of an announcement this April that Israel will be ending its mandatory fluoridation program. In Ireland, legislation was proposed this spring that would make it a criminal offense to add fluoride to public water supplies, and in Canada, the number of people drinking fluoridated water has dropped by about 25% since 2008.
Considering the outcome in Portland, Oregon, is it not time to question and seriously consider removing this chemical from the Hinesburg Village water supply? This medicated water is what one drinks at the public schools, businesses, restaurants and homes in our village.