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County Supervisors to Spend Over $100,000 on Fluoridation Study

Opponents of fluoridation objected to what they called "forced, mass medication."

By Bay City News Service

The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors this evening voted unanimously to spend $103,000 on an engineering and design report for fluoridation of the Sonoma County Water Agency's drinking water supply.

In Sonoma County, only Healdsburg and the Fitch Mountain area have fluoridated water.

The proposal to fluoridate the water is one of five approaches to improve the dental health of the county's residents, especially low-income children and seniors. The other preventative measures include providing dental sealants for school-age children, varnishes in childhood, expanding access to dental care and education about brushing, flossing and eating a healthy diet.

A 2009 oral health assessment in the county found a crisis in untreated tooth decay and dental disease.

The fluoridated water would be received by 350,000 residents in Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Sonoma, Petaluma, Cotati, Forestville, the Valley of the Moon and 50,000 Novato area residents in the Novato area.

The cost of upgrading the county's water system to provide fluoridated water is estimated at $8.5 million, and the annual maintenance is estimated at $1 million.

The vote came after a four-hour hearing during which 63 people spoke in favor and against fluoridation. Opponents of fluoridation objected to what they called "forced, mass medication." They cited studies that claimed fluoride in water caused osteoporosis, cancer, thyroid disease, lower levels of intelligence in children, hip fractures in the elderly, stained and pitted teeth, and endocrine disruption.

They said sugars, processed foods, poor nutrition and soda are rotting children's teeth, and children will not benefit from fluoridated water because they drink either soda or bottled water.

"This is like using a sledge hammer to do surgery," one critic said.

Critics said the money would be better spent on education and providing dental care and dental clinics. Doctors, dentists and others health care providers said 70 percent of the country's population has fluoride in its water.

A final vote on fluoridation is not expected until 2014.

Vernon Simmons February 27, 2013 at 03:19 PM
What a massive waste of time and money. It has been well documented by other areas of the United States that floridation works. If the supervisors waste money like this they have no reason to complain about other cuts. This is just stupid on all levels. Good for Healdsburg being the only city to do things right. Vernon Simmons
jwillie6 February 28, 2013 at 05:47 AM
The U.S.is about 70% fluoridated, yet most every state has a crisis in dental caries. The government reports that over ane-half of all children have damaged tooth enamel (dental fluorosis). One can only imagine what it is doing to their bones as well. Only 5% of the world uses fluoridation because many large studies show fluoridation is totally ineffective in improving tooth decay and is dangerous to health. Europe, which is 97% fluoride free, China, India, Japan, and most other countries have rejected it. The citizens of these few countries which fluoridate have the distinction of having the highest rates of arthritis and thyroid disease, both side effects of excessive ingestion of fluoride. 14 Nobel prize winners, the U.S. EPA's own 1700 scientists and researchers are joined by 4400 professionals, (www.fluoridealert.org), including hundreds of dentists, hundreds of doctors, and other medical researchers who have signed a petition calling on governments everywhere to stop fluoridation and avoid cancer, thyroid & pineal gland damage, broken hips from brittle bones, lowered IQ, kidney disease, arthritis and other serious health problems.
John B February 28, 2013 at 03:38 PM
I am against and already signed a petition to ban locally on floridealert.org. I have lived and healdsburg and drank the water here for many years. I hope to change this unnecessary addition to our water supply soon.

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