By: Don Robinet – Chatham This Week, Wallaceburg Courier Press, Chatham, Ontario 20-May-2012 – Fluoridated drinking water in municipally-run systems has been the norm for decades, but a local group is urging the board of health, and, by extension, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, to reconsider the process.
Chantelle Goldsmith is spokesperson for Fluoride-Free Chatham-Kent and she outlined the group’s opposition to fluoride in drinking water during a presentation at the board of health’s meeting on May 16.
In her remarks, Goldsmith told the board fluoride “is not a nutrient” and “it’s not something that’s necessary for human survival.”
Goldsmith said fluoride is useful in the prevention of dental decay when applied topically, but of little use in a municipal water system, where, she said, the vast majority of use is not even for drinking water, but for things such as washing cars and watering lawns.
“It works topically, not by ingesting it,” she said.
Goldsmith also cited studies that said fluoridated water caused or aggravated some health conditions, such as arthritis. She also said use of fluoride in the water violates the public’s right to informed consent.
The board voted to receive Goldsmith’s presentation for information.
Speaking outside the boardroom after her presentation, Goldsmith said many municipalities, including some in nearby Essex County, have decided to remove fluoride from drinking water.
“They say it’s a medication, but everyone gets the same dose,” said Goldsmith, no matter how old they are. “No one would ever give the same dose.”
Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s acting medical officer of health, said he would be reviewing Goldsmith’s presentation carefully. He also said that on matters pertaining to dental health, the board consults with Dr. Wayne McKay.
Colby did add, however, the position of most medical professionals is that fluoridated water provides a benefit.
The decision on whether or not to continue with fluoridation rests with council, which would seek input from the board of health.