Durango residents have a landmark decision to make in the upcoming city election – whether to continue fluoridation of city drinking water.
As a member of Clean Water Durango, I helped collect over 1,000 signatures from voters to place the initiative on the ballot to remove sodium fluoride, a non-naturally occurring substance, from our water. Here’s why: In our democracy, there is a practice called informed consent. When we are prescribed treatment for a medical condition, our written consent is required to undergo treatment.
Currently, everyone drinking city water is being medicated to prevent cavities, and we have not consented. We should have the right to choose what we put in our bodies. Water fluoridation treats only the symptoms of a complex public health issue. Fluoridation, a medically questionable “quick fix” at best, does not address the underlying cause of tooth decay, which is determined by 32 genes, diet, bacteria and oral health practices.
The city spends $35,000 annually on fluoridation – that could go a long way toward helping those families most vulnerable to tooth decay by providing nutrition and oral health education, and fluoride toothpaste. The patriarchal perspective supporting water fluoridation does nothing to help those most vulnerable to learn practices for better lifetime health.
Using the city water supply to distribute substances intended to cure public health issues is a slippery slope. Vitamin D deficiency is growing among children and adults. Should we add vitamin D to the water to correct this? What about adding antidepressants because of growing teen depression? Where does it stop?
Up-to-date research shows the ill effects of fluoride on body systems such as thyroid and endocrine system disruption, kidney disease and diabetes. Until we can rule out sodium fluoride as contributing negatively to our health, the precautionary principle should be followed – do no harm.
Vote for the initiative to remove sodium fluoride from Durango city water.