Cass Village Council discusses fluorination

In a sometimes heated and emotional debate, residents, business owners as well as dental and health professionals shared their opinions on fluorinated city water with the Cassopolis Village Council at its workshop meeting Monday night.

Speaking on behalf of the Michigan Department of Community Health Education and Fluoridation Coordinator, Susan Deming said she supports fluoride water as does the Center for Disease Control, World Health Association and Michigan Oral Health Coalition, among others.

“When you Google fluoride you get a lot of information that is not true,” Deming said. “Every five years we do a systematic review of all research. Fluoride reduces dental decay by 25 percent on average. People like to say that the additive is a toxic waste just dumped into the system, but it is all pumped in regulated amounts. The cost is less than $1 dollar per person. We strongly urge you to continue to fluoridate your water.”

Local dental hygienists, dentists and pharmacists also spoke in favor of fluoridation. They all agreed that fluoride improves children’s oral health. Many gave testimony that their patients dental health greatly improved after drinking fluoridated water. None of them could recall an incidence of fluorosis, a condition that occurs when a child has been overexposed to fluoride.

On the other end of the spectrum, Kellie Chaffee expressed her concerns from the viewpoint of one who volunteers with the fire department. She said that if a truck carrying fluoride were to spill, it would be classified as Hazmat because the substance is toxic.

“It is a drug put into the water supply,” she said. “Standards vary from person to person in terms of what your body can handle. This one size fits all solution is not responsible.”

Cassopolis resident CeeCee Wilson echoed Chaffee’s concerns and presented her findings that the American Dental Association changed its policy toward water use in infant formula, saying it recommends using purified, non-fluoridated water to prepare formula.

The official ADA website states, “It is safe to use fluoridated water to mix infant formula. If your baby is primarily fed infant formula, using fluoridated water might increase the chance for mild enamel fluorosis, but enamel fluorosis does not affect the health of your child or the health of your child’s teeth. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to talk to their dentists about what’s best for their child.”

Wi;son also stated her opposition to the fact that fluoridating water removes citizens’ choice regarding whether or not to consume fluoride.

“If you want fluoride you can buy the drops or add it in, but I can’t take it out of my water,” she said.

Tom Rose, a pharmacologist, said people need to consider the source of studies that show fluoride as harmful.

“Studies from China may only include five children, which is not enough to show strong evidence,” he said. “And those children were being given four times the recommended amount in the U.S. They were being given toxic amounts.”

He also said people need to realize that every dollar spent on fluoride saves $38 on dental health bills.

Village manager Cynthia LaGrow said the decision whether or not to keep fluoride in the water is a policy issue based on what the residents want and is in no way a money issue, as last year fluorination cost only $2,200.

LaGrow also pointed out that, as she learned from her own experiments with bottled water, fluoride naturally occurs in water. Removing fluoride treatments would only remove additional fluoride and water would still have some naturally occurring fluoride.

The council plans to vote on the issue Aug. 11.

SportsPlus

Cass County

Police seize 21 guns, ammunition in Niles traffic stop

Community News

Annual Ed’s Open Header Cruise set for July 25

Business

Niles Rite Aid to close

Crime/Court

South Bend man sentenced on weapons charge

Business

Red Shoe Realty to host grand opening, open house

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Vandalia hosts annual Underground Railroad Days

Crime/Court

Niles man gets jail time for carrying concealed weapon

Business

Dowagiac Summer Festival, BBQ Competition arrives this weekend

Cass County

Edwardsburg man gets time served for larceny

Community News

Dowagiac DART launches on-demand transit service

Cassopolis

Cassopolis honors 2024 Miss Cassopolis Court

Community News

Niles, township approve revised SMCAS articles

Community News

Creating culture: 100+ community members participate in downtown art project

Cass County

Cass County law clerk gets jail for contempt of court

Business

Radioshack to move downtown, create ‘maker space’

Community News

‘It’s home’: Blomgren ready to take next step as Dowagiac superintendent

Letters to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dowagiac Connected thanks community

Buchanan

Buchanan approves liquor license for boutique hotel

Cass County

Dowagiac DART to launch on-demand transit service

Community News

Niles approves matching funds for outdoor hub construction

Dowagiac

Two injured in two-vehicle Silver Creek Township crash

News

Sewer overflow reported in Dowagiac

Buchanan

Buchanan moves forward with downtown streetscape, infrastructure projects

Cass County

Cassopolis authorities seek help locating gas station robbery suspects