Fluoride Action Network

Your chance to say yes or no to fluoride in Mims is in your water bill | Opinion by Rita Pritchett

Source: Florida Today | July 16th, 2021 | By Rita Pritchett, Brevard County Commissioner
Location: United States, Florida

The commission, on May 4, 2021, voted to remove fluoride from Mims drinking water by a vote of 5-0. The commission understood the vote was to remove fluoride (hydrofluorosilic acid) from the water. We also discussed conflicting science. Science is continuing to seek truth and often changes its stance; for example, on COVID-19.

Science is not perfect, but pretty wonderful.

Rita Pritchett

A few days after, I received a call from a very trusted mentor, who said: “You should not be making medical decisions for the community.” That really hit me. He was right.

As commissioners we make choices that are not always popular. This vote was different, in that we were deciding what goes into a person’s body. A very personal choice that should not be made by government. It should be the individual’s decision if they want to ingest fluoride.

I don’t believe I missed the will of the people, but just in case, I chose to survey the water service customers to find out directly from them.

If I was basing my decision on input from Facebook — not the best source — I would believe 80% didn’t want fluoridated water.

If the results come back as a supermajority, or 66% (on the commission, 80% is a supermajority) of all the water customers voting fluoride, then I will go back and ask the commission to consider reinstating fluoride in the water.

A community discussion was held June 21 in the gymnasium at Cuyler Park Community Center in Mims, regarding the use of fluoride in the community's drinking water. Speakers from both sides of the issue made presentations.

A supermajority will show it is really wanted by the community and not just tolerated. It’s still tough to make the other 33% lose their choice and bear the expense of filtering it out.

If you want fluoride in your body, it’s your decision. Whatever choice you make is not wrong. It’s your opinion. No one should be saying you’re wrong because they don’t agree with you. Again, it’s your choice.

There are good arguments that topically, fluoride is good for teeth. And perhaps consuming it helps your teeth. But there are hundreds of articles from the past few years showing many other health consequences to our bodies. These articles are written by those with doctoral, medical and dental degrees. They are qualified people, as are those who support fluoride in water.

At a May 2021 zoning meeting, Brevard County Commission Chair Rita Pritchett said she "probably could have done things better" on her move earlier that month to end water fluoridation at the county-run treatment plant in Mims.

Saying people are not qualified because they don’t agree with your opinion doesn’t sit well with me. I believe all the people in this discussion are qualified. I have spent hours reading the articles and the arguments with the data. Note: If we had fluoridated salt, like other countries, this would not even be an issue. Much like iodized salt. And “that fluoride” would be much purer.

I personally don’t believe that fluoride in the water is safe for everybody. It’s not difficult to consume more than what is considered a tolerable level. Although you might not be consuming a lethal amount, a toxic amount would be if you drink more than two liters a day of tap water, or drink black tea. That’s not hard to do in Florida. This accumulates in your body. Some of the data on children is very concerning. It’s enough to make me want to pause until it is tested more, and not risk the health of my community.

Medicating public drinking water is wrong on every level. Good or bad, it’s forcing it on people, either way, to live with another’s choice in their body. When you put fluoride in water it takes the choice away from those who cannot tolerate it. Some argue that it’s not a medication, but as an accountant, I know that in the financial world if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s a duck.

If communities are going to continue to medicate the water, this should be put up for a vote by the consumers, probably yearly. A lot of new data is coming out almost weekly. Science changes daily.

Mims community, your survey cards should have arrived with your water bills. Please mail them back by the end of the month. I am looking forward to seeing what my community chooses for its water. This should not be decided by government, me, or anyone else. This should be an individual decision. If you vote yes, I respect that; if you vote no, I respect that, too.

You are a smart community, and I am confident you can choose for yourself.

Brevard County Commission chair Rita Pritchett, a Titusville resident, represents District 1.

*Original Opinion online at https://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/2021/07/16/yes-no-fluoride-mims-check-water-bill-have-your-say-opinion/7978239002/