N&O Coverage: Fight against fluoride in water comes to Orange and Durham Counties

Posted: June 13, 2013 in chapel hill, city, council, dental, durham, fluoride, health, raleigh
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Source: News & Observer

By Jane Porter — jporter@newsobserver.com

A practice that most North Carolinians do without thinking much about it – drinking fluoridated water from local systems – has become a controversial topic in parts of the Triangle.

On Thursday, the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority will hear petitions from citizens who want the county to stop fluoridating public water. And in Durham on Thursday, Board of Health directors will hear from a subcommittee that was asked to look into the issue.

Fluoride opponents point to a book, “The Case Against Fluoride,” to support their argument that fluoridating drinking water amounts to adding hazardous waste to the public water supply. They say fluoride is potentially hazardous to human health and is not as beneficial in preventing tooth decay as once thought.

Nearly 90 percent of North Carolina residents who drink from local water systems drink fluoridated water. It has been standard practice in most North Carolina counties for 50 years.

But after some Durham residents complained, the county’s Board of Health assembled a subcommittee in March “to evaluate the addition of fluoride to city drinking water and come back with a recommendation,” said Vicki Westbrook, the city’s assistant director of water management. The board is expected to hear the subcommittee’s recommendation at a meeting Thursday.

Corey Sturmer, a Durham citizen who opposes water fluoridation practices, said he and other activists have been unsuccessful in bringing the issue to the attention of Raleigh officials.

“Raleigh, unfortunately, has been provided with copious amounts of scientific data, repeated appearances by myself and other citizens and even notifications that what they are doing breaks current state and federal drug laws,” Sturmer said.

Efforts to reach Raleigh’s assistant director of public utilities were unsuccessful, but a page on the City of Raleigh website indicates its continued support of current fluoridation practices.

Continue Reading @ News & Observer…

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