GREENFIELD — After hearing overwhelming opposition from residents, the town’s Board of Health has decided not to support community water fluoridation.
In October, the Community Health Center of Franklin County suggested the town consider adding fluoride to its public water supply after a dental hygienist found a significant amount of tooth decay and oral health problems in young children while visiting local schools. The Board of Health held two public meetings to gather input on the issue, and ultimately decided not to support it due to its potential impact on local businesses, significant opposition from residents and “underwhelming” statistics about its effectiveness at preventing tooth decay.
“There were numerous citizens who voiced their concerns at both of our meetings,” Board of Health Chairman Dr. William Doyle said. “The Board of Health reviewed voluminous literature, both pro and con on the subject of fluoridation, we read many letters addressed to the board from citizens mostly opposed to fluoridation, and we also read generally unfavorable letters to the editor concerning fluoridation.”
Doyle said the board heard from residents who said the public should not be medicated without permission, complaining of a lack of informed consent with community fluoridation.
“I think most of us were impressed with the public comments, really,” he said. “The people who were against it really came out in force and, quite frankly, some of their comments resonated with me and the board.”.............