Jason Pichie, the architect of the petition, said in an interview he’s not necessarily opposed to fluoride’s benefits when it comes to combating tooth decay, but he wants the use of the product left up to individuals.
“We don’t have the right to choose whether we ingest it, if it’s already in the water,” he said, adding people make that choice when they purchase toothpaste with fluoride. “I want a choice.”
The petition has nearly 260 signatures.
City council is expected to receive a report on the subject Oct. 13 when administrators outline the ramifications of re-introducing the fluoridation process to our water – or keeping the additive out.
Two years ago the fluoridation of our water was discontinued after technical problems at the treatment plant occurred, followed by health and safety concerns.
While medical professionals have long suggested the benefits of water fluoridation, especially in terms of dental care, the decision for councillors could boil down to money.
It is expected to cost as much as $300,000 to upgrade the water treatment plant, as well as an extra $50,000 a year in operational expenses.
“To put it back there would be some substantial costs,” said city infrastructure manager John St. Marseille in a previous interview. “There is still an outstanding report to bring back to council…to allow for some public discourse on how to proceed.”
Critics have argued the risks of using chemicals to treat the water present too many worries for workers, while also creating a danger for those who consume it.
So-called “hydrofluorosilicic acid” is used to create fluoride in the water, and municipal officials, in past city reports, consider it dangerous.
– With Seaway News files.