Whether the city of Waupaca should continue putting fluoride in its water will be discussed when the Common Council meets on Jan. 15.
The topic will go before the council without a recommendation from the city’s Board of Public Works.
The board met Jan. 2 and voted 2-3 on a motion recommending that the city stop fluridating its water.
Ald. Paul Mayou, who made the motion, was joined by Ald. John Lockwood in voting in favor of it.
Ald. Deb Fenske, Paul Hagen and Scott Purchatzke voted against the motion.
After the motion failed, Mayou made a motion to refer the topic to the council without a recommendation.
The board voted unanimously to do so.
The council meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15.
The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the council chambers, located in the lower level of City Hall.
Fluoridating the city’s water has now been discussed at two consecutive meetings of the city’s Board of Public Works.
In December, city resident Lisa Funk asked that fluoride be removed from the city’s water supply.
The mother of threee children and student in the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s health and wellness program told the board it is debatable whether fluoride provides any benefit and if it does help prevent tooth decay.
Dentist supports fluoride
At the Jan. 2 meeting of the Board of Public Works, Dr. Jim Robinson, a Waupaca dentist, was among those speaking in favor of the city continuing with its practice of fluoridating its water.
Robinson has undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry and has practiced dentistry in Waupaca for almost 40 years.
In addition, he has traveled throughout the world to work in areas lacking dental clinics.
“I’ve seen areas devoid of fluoride in the water. You can tell a big difference,” Robinson told the board.
He said more than 3,000 studies from throughout the world have proven fluoride to be effective in preventing tooth decay when in the right dose.
“Like any other substance, it has a safety factor and an overdose factor. You have to weigh the pros and cons,” Robinson said.
The current recommendation of the Enviromental Protection Agency for public water systems is 1.0 parts fluoride per million, which is what the city of Waupaca follows.
The people most impacted by fluoride are the poor and the elderly, Robinson said.
“About half the children in Waupaca don’t see a dentist regularly,” he said.
Robinson believes every demographic factor benefits from fluoride.
Mayou said some studies have said fluoride can be harmful, including resulting in lower IQs in children.
Robinson said the studies Mayou cited were about the effects of excessive fluoride.
“Tooth disease is the most common disease among chidren in our country,” Robinson said. “The poor and the elderly are our target group.”
Mayou said there are other sources of fluoride and that rejecting fluoride seems to becoming a growing pattern in communities.
“There are multiple sources of fluoride,” Robinson said. “It all has to work together, and the water does its part.”
Read the full article in the Jan. 17 issue of the County Post West.