The Greenville City Council may decide this week to reverse its recent decision to resume adding fluoride into the local water supply.
After a split council moved last month to resume the practice after a three-year hiatus, based on the recommendations of a local dentist, a vote to rescind the measure is included on the agenda for Tuesday’s regular session, starting at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 2821 Washington Street. A work session is also set to begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
At the Oct. 11 meeting, Dr. Jeffrey Nelson, D.D.S. said there was no scientific evidence which indicated there was any harm to the public by the move, which would help lead to healthier teeth for the city’s population, whereas there is 70 years of studies available, “that show nothing but positive benefits.”
But several people spoke to the council Oct. 25, saying they were opposed to the idea for a variety of reasons and claiming there are several studies which recommend against it.
The City of Greenville ceased fluoridation of its drinking water in Sept. 2013, due to the effort causing too much wear and tear on equipment. Director of Public Works John Wright has said the current fluoride concentration found naturally in the city’s raw water supply averages one-third to one-half of the fluoride level recommended by the EPA.
Wright said the addition of fluoride to the city’s treated drinking water would raise the natural concentration of about .3 parts per million (ppm) up to the recommended level of 0.7 ppm, with the initial estimated $50,000 in expenses covered in the city budget.
Wright said he had heard that extremely high concentrations of fluoride in the water supply, several times the amount to be added, might result in hurting the teeth of baby’s or making bones brittle.
The council voted 4-2 Oct. 11 to proceed with the addition of fluoride.
At the conclusion of the regular session agenda Oct. 25, the council approved a motion by Council member Holly Gotcher to bring the issue back for another vote at Tuesday’s meeting.