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Village trustees voted, on February 18, 2003, to halt fluoridation in Canton, New York. One hundred and thirty faculty and staff members of Canton's St. Lawrence University and 300 students petitioned the village trustees to ban fluoride from its water supply, reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).
In July 2001, fluoridation was discontinued to replace equipment. Residents decided fluoridation should end for good.
The decision caps months of public discussion and research about whether residents' best interests were served with fluoridation, the intentional addition of cavity-preventing fluoride into water supplies.
Trustee Stephen Putnam, who voted against fluoridation, said he spent much of December and January reading articles about fluoride and was concerned that fluoride accumulates in the bones, particularly for menopausal women who drink fluoridated water over many years, reported the Watertown Daily Times.
Paul Connett, PhD, who led the campaign to rid fluoride from Canton's tap water said, "An independent review of the literature finds that fluoridation is:
* unethical (medication without patient's informed consent) * unnecessary (kids get too much fluoride from many sources) * ineffective (at best, fluoridation saves less than one tooth surface out of 128 in a child's mouth) * unsafe (fluoride accumulation can make bones brittle and joints painful) * inequitable (the poor cannot afford to avoid it, if desired) * unscientifically defended (proponents cannot defend the practice in open debate) * wasteful, literally pouring taxpayer money down the drain."
Dr. Connett, Chemistry Professor, St. Lawrence University is also co-founder, Fluoride Action Network, an International Coalition to End Water Fluoridation.
Biochemist and fluoride expert, Hardy Limeback, PhD, DDS, Head of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, drove four hours by car, at his own expense, to give testimony. Once an avid fluoridation promoter, Limeback turned fluoridation opponent when he discovered the:
a) incidence of children's dental fluorosis (fluoride discolored teeth) has risen sharply, b) benefits of fluoridation are topical, not systemic (swallowed fluoride does not prevent tooth decay), c) chemical most used in fluoridation schemes is not pharmaceutical grade, but an industrial waste-product, hexafluorosilicic acid, which the US Environmental Protection Agency admits has never been safety tested.
"People, who had been previously pro-fluoridation, spoke out against it. At a public hearing, two months before the vote, a young local dentist, when asked about the issue, was lukewarm about fluoridation's benefits. He said words to the effect, 'If you don't continue, I don't think we will have a dental crisis; and, if we continue, I don't think we will see an end to tooth decay,'" says Connett.
"New York City has temporarily halted fluoridation. We hope City residents take the lead from the people of Canton, New York, and demand their water remain fluoride-free," says Paul Beeber, President, (NYSCOF).