Portland Water Fluoridation Decision Brings Mixed Reaction With Students, Staff
Sylvania – The Portland City Council’s unanimous decision to flouridate the city’s public water supply is becoming a boiling hot issue around Portland Community College campuses.
Commissioner’s Randy Leonard and Nick Fish co-sponsored the move to fluoridating the city’s water in response, they say, to incease dental health among low-income and minority populations living in the city.
However, the idea of fluoridation isn’t sitting well with everyone in the city.
A group named Clean Water Portland is working to gather nearly 20,000 signatures to bring the issue to a public vote.
Brady Hess, an assistant instructor in PCC’s dental technologies department, is like many opponents who worry about dental fluorosis – a condition of white spots on the teeth which comes from too much flouride during tooth development.
Instead, he believes fluoride should be dosed individually with tablets prescribed by a dentist, that way people can choose whether they get flouride.
“I don’t understand why [the city] is adding fluoride for everyone rather than pushing for the pills. It’s ignorant,” Hess said. “The pills really work if they are used properly.”
Arleen Shannon, who works in the dental office at PCC, says opinions are mixed among dental professionals and students who come through her office.
“You might think that everyone here is pro-fluoride, but even in this office there is some debate,” Shannon said.
Both the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease control and prevention support the widespread use of water fluoridation.
The CDC named water fluoridation as one of the country’s greatest health achievements in the past century along with vaccinations, family planning, and other health breakthroughs.
Opponents to water fluoridation have until October 12 to gather all the required signatures to get the referendum on the ballot.