As described in the cover article of the District’s Summer 2016 edition of What’s on Tap, the District has taken a position against continuing the current practice of adding fluoride to its (your) drinking water. In addition to the points made in the article, there are some simple facts that we believe further justify the District’s position.
The District’s water sources already have between 0.2 and 0.3 parts per million (PPM) of naturally occurring calcium fluoride, which is about 50% of what the Maine Drinking Water Program (Maine’s agency responsible for enforcing EPA drinking water regulations) has set as the minimum fluoride level for fluoridated water supplies. It is now known that the general population is ingesting much more fluoride than it did some 60-plus years ago when fluoridation of drinking water was proposed as a method of reducing the incidence of dental caries (cavities). The general public is ingesting a significant amount of fluoride via processed foods and beverages, on top of normal everyday too brushing. At the present time, approximately 40% of American adolescents are exhibiting some degree of dental fluorosis, which is an indicator of ingesting too much fluoride. So why add more fluoride to our drinking water?
We understand that this is a controversial topic, fraught with polarized positions, not only between the scientific and medical communities, but among the general public as well. As water utility professionals, we prefer to lean toward the side of caution and give more credibility to the scientific perspective, which better reflects current research and up to date statistics.
As you may know, we have recently been notified by the Maine Secretary of State’s office that a local citizen’s group, The Campaign to Reconsider Water Fluoridation, has gathered enough petition signatures for the question of fluoridation of our drinking water to be on the ballot at the upcoming election on November 8. In an effort to begin the process of educating the public about the theories and facts relating to the fluoridation of drinking water, the Campaign has organized a Fluoride Forum, to be held at the Kennebunk Town Hall Auditorium on Friday, August 12 at 7:00 pm. Speaking at this forum will be two University professors:
Leonardo Trasande, MD, MPP
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Environmental Medicine & Population Health, NYU School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Health Policy, NYU Wagner School of Public Service
Associate Professor of Public Health, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development
Associated Faculty Member, NYU Global Institute of Public Health
Dianne Smallidge, RDH, MDH
Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene
In order to help you formulate your own opinion, we encourage you to study both sides of this issue, so when it comes time to vote on it at this November’s general election, you can make an informed decision. If you can’t attend the Fluoride Forum on August 12, please check out this list of documents and sources of information which we believe will provide you an introduction to both perspectives on this issue:
Literature generally against the addition of fluoride:
Links to organizations generally against the addition of fluoride:
Literature generally in support of the addition of fluoride:
Links to organizations generally for the addition of fluoride:
General Literature Pertaining to Dental Health: