Voters opt to remove fluoride

By Emily Jo Cureton, The Triplicate November 08, 2012 12:00 am

Bye bye, fluoride. 

A measure to stop adding the contentious compound to Crescent City’s water supply won approval by a wide margin in Tuesday’s general election, with a few ballots left to count.

Unofficial results show 57 percent of participating city voters approved putting a moratorium on adding hydrofluosilicic acid to the water until the chemical’s manufacturer provides “toxicological reports ... a list of contaminants and amounts” and “a written claim for safety.”

 

“We’re going to go ahead and turn the fluoride off. We have contacted the manufacturer and we are waiting for a response,” said City Manager Eugene Palazzo.

Many predict this request will fall on deaf ears, effectively ending public water fluoridation in Del Norte County.

 “Proponents of Measure A are pleased with the election results and a win for Measure A. (The) win was the result of an information campaign that spanned two elections,” wrote proponent Katherine Kelly in a Wednesday email.

Measure A had 524 votes in support and 402 in opposition, with 52 percent of eligible voters turning out citywide. In 2010, a similar effort to stop fluoridation failed by a nearly identical margin.

Also once again, a majority of people who drink the water were not eligible to vote on the issue. There’s 1,781 voters on the city rolls; while 4,500 water connections reach an estimated 14,000 county residents.

Opponents of Measure A contended in the county’s Voter Guide that “fluoridation has prevented untold misery and cost by effectively combating dental disease in our children,” predicting an “explosion of tooth decay” would result from the measure’s passage. 

Fluoride’s strengthening effect on bones and teeth is the intent of the additive. Measure A’s proponents took issue with its ingestion, linking it to a wide array of internal health problems. 

“It is a comfort that the majority of voters in Crescent City have been educated to the facts of our fluoridation chemical despite efforts from the Triplicate to cloud the issue and misinformation from the Democratic Party,” Kelly wrote. “In this case, facts triumphed over the propaganda and rhetoric and going into the future I hope more people will come around to the reality that dosing an entire population with a toxic waste product is neither healthy nor beneficial.”

Kelly also cited economic benefits of ending fluoridation, which costs the city upwards of $28,000 for an 18-month supply. 

“The money saved can be better used in other areas, even helping with the city’s deficit,” Kelly wrote.

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