Fluoride in water questioned

Cranbrook council takes another look at drinking water

Cranbrook is taking a second look at the fluoride it adds to the water system after a group appealed to council Monday night.

Brian Kostiuk and Brad Brehm presented to city council on September 10 their concerns about fluoride in Cranbrook’s drinking water.

“What we are questioning here today is the effectiveness of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply and if it’s actually achieving its goal,” said Brehm.

“Fluoride is not what it’s put out to be,” said Kostiuk. “It is a dangerous chemical.”

The pair brought research papers from the group Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, as well as letters from dentistry and chemistry professors.

“The research that I have looked into on the effectiveness of fluoride all points towards the fact that is effective when it is applied topically on the teeth. There is no definitive research to indicate that when it is ingested through drinking it in water that it has any effect,” Brehm told council.

Less than a dozen communities in B.C. add fluoride to their water supplies, he went on.

“It is mass medication and I feel it is against my right as a Canadian citizen to have fresh water,” said Brehm.

“I appreciate that none of the members of council were the original people who voted to put fluoride into the water supply, but I am asking you tonight to be the members of council who vote to take it out.”

Council was willing to consider their concerns, with Mayor Wayne Stetski saying: “This is exactly the kind of question that we need to be looking at as a council.”

He suggested that council approach a dentist to speak to council about the benefits of fluoride in water.

“Those of us who get regular dental care get fluoride regularly and we use fluoride toothpaste. But I was wondering about lower income families that might not have that opportunity, and whether or not fluoride is important to them,” said Stetski.

Councillor Sharon Cross pointed out that the city spends $30,000 a year on adding fluoride to its water at Phillips Reservoir.

“If it is a cost item for something that is not really required, but is rather an option, that is questionable,” she said.

Councillor Bob Whetham said he will look in more detail at the research the group brought to council.

“I think it is very important to bring this topic up. When fluoride was introduced in a number of municipalities years ago, times were different. This is today and it is certainly time to have another look,” said Whetham.

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