Water Fluoridation Debated at DuBois City Council
DUBOIS – A debate continued about whether or not fluoride should be removed from the city’s water system at Monday night’s DuBois City Council meeting.
City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio initiated discussion after being approached by community members. He suggested council members begin researching the issue as they might be approached as well.
DuBois began fluoridating its water after a referendum vote back in 1964. The city can only end the fluoridation process with voter approval. Anyone who wants the water fluoridation issue placed on the ballot can pursue it by contacting the Department of State at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-787-5280 and the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development at 717-787-8158.
Brought up during public comment and confirmed by Suplizio after the meeting, the city currently is fluoridating the water to .8 ppm, or parts per million. He said this is roughly the equivalent of dropping two quarts of fluoride into a regulation Olympic-sized swimming pool. In smaller scales, he said there is about 1 milligram of fluoride in every liter of city water.
During public comment, Dr. Tom Petraitis, a DuBois dentist, and Jonathan Cole, a DuBois periodontist, spoke about water fluoridation. Each presented council members with information packets supporting their claims. Residents Gary Guerndt and Terry Cook advocated for ending water fluoridation.
Petraitis and Cole presented the benefits, as fluoride aids in preventing cavities.
“It is a medication. It is a medication with a very certain purpose,” said Cole. He said that water fluoridation was not unique in this regard. He listed examples such as vitamin D being put in milk and iodine in salt.
Against fluoridation, both Guerndt and Cook pointed out that fluoride as a medication in water is medication without specific consent. Also, they said the dosage depends on the amount of water being consumed per person. In large enough quantities, they said it is a poison and must be handled in hazardous material gear.
Diving into rhetoric, Cook said that water fluoridation began in Nazi concentration camps. He said dentists and doctors who promoted fluoridation were either brainwashed or aiding in the brainwashing of the general populous. He likened the city’s fluoridation of the water to a terrorist act.
After Cook said fluoridation was an act of corrupt government, he was interrupted by Council member Diane Bernardo. Bernardo informed Cook that the city only began fluoridating the water after the citizens of DuBois voted for it and would freely end the process should they vote to do so.
Bernardo said she planned to further research the issue.