In January of 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city in the world to increase the levels of fluoride in the municipal water supply. The City of Sheridan will be next, as the city council voted in 2011 to join in with many other cities across the United States and fluoridate. Sheridan Media's Chris Foy has the story.
The discussion did not end with the council's decision, as we reported yesterday more than 250 residents have signed a petition in the past week to overturn the City's decision. Sheridan Mayor Dave Kinskey provides some background.
The American Dental Association, one of the primary groups that promotes community water fluoridation along with the Centers for Disease Control, says fluoridation is merely an increase in the level of naturally occurring fluoride present in all drinking water sources.
Mayor Kinskey says the council received a petition from dental hygienists to introduce fluoride in Sheridan years ago, and that the City's support of the measure is out of care for the population's oral health.
But not everyone agrees fluoridation is a good thing. Though it's not a scientific poll, Sheridan Media asked residents in 2011 if they agreed with the City's decision to fluoridate. 64 percent of respondents said no, while 33 percent said yes.
Heather White created the petition to overturn the City's fluoridation decision. She says the lack of information on it's effects on a developing brain, where the fluoride would actually come from and how much the measure would cost the City drove her to remove it from her home – and she wants residents to decide for themselves.
The Department of Environmental Health within Harvard's School of Public Health conducted a study involving high levels of fluoride. One of their conclusions was that the results of the study support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on the neurological development of children. They also suggest that future research should include detailed information on prenatal exposure.
Mayor Kinskey says those opposed to drinking fluoridated water should invest in a reverse osmosis system for their homes. A search of a popular online web store shows those systems cost more than $170 – as high as $530 - and a pack of the filters used in those systems often exceed $30. The ADA says individuals who drink water processed through one of those filters are missing out on the decay preventative effects of fluoridated water.
Click on the attachment below to listen to Thursday's Public Pulse on the subject of fluoridation.
A story published 7/10/13 on the recently created petition to overturn the fluoridation decision is available at http://www.sheridanmedia.com/new....