Council says no to fluoride

By Diane Chiddister

At their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 18, members of Village Council voted to discontinue the practice of putting fluoride in Yellow Springs water.

The vote was 3–1, with Lori Askeland, Judith Hempfling and Rick Walkey voting to discontinue adding fluoride to local water, Karen Wintrow dissenting and John Booth, who is out of the country, absent. A resolution on the fluoridation issue will be voted on at an upcoming meeting.

“We’re talking about a deliberate act of a governmental body that says you must take this, you must ingest this,” Askeland said of putting fluoride in Yellow Springs water. “We don’t do this with anything else, only fluoride. If this were the only way to get fluoride and there was absolutely no potential harm and if we needed to ingest it,” the situation would be different and she would support the practice, Askeland said.

Citing evidence that fluoride is most effective for dental health when applied topically rather than ingested, that ingesting the chemical can be harmful to infants or those with renal problems, and that there is a lack of solid research regarding the effects of ingesting fluoride on the body, Askeland stated, “For that reason, ethically, I fall on the side that we shouldn’t add it.”

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