Waynesville City Councils Votes to Ban Fluoride From Drinking Water

Concerns over the health issues caused by over exposure to fluoride have cities across the country voting on whether or not to remove it from their tap water. Too much fluoride can cause discoloration and malformation of teeth in young children, and some reports even claim it may lower their IQ. 

The City Council of Waynesville decided last week that the negative side effects far outweighed the benefits and declared a ban on fluoride from drinking water. Fluorosilicic Acid, which is the form fluoride takes in tap water, is hazardous according to the Environmental Protection Agency and may be harming city employees. 

Proponents of supplementing water with fluoride say that it can help prevent tooth decay, and since untreated tooth decay affects 23% of adults, this seems a viable argument. This is not to mention the fact that tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and adults. 

This recent ban comes amid new fluoride recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Pediatric dentists now recommend that children begin to use toothpaste with fluoride as soon as teeth emerge. They also recommend that primary care dentists give fluoride treatment to young patients every three to six months. They don’t, however, suggest that children under six years of age swish with a fluoride rinse due to the risk of swallowing it. 

Waynesville officials say the ban will take effect in the next couple of months when ther current city water supply runs out. The Missouri Department of Health and Government Services reports that 133 communities in the state currently supplement their drinking water with fluoride in an attempt to prevent tooth decay.