Fluoridation opponent Ron Greinke laid out multiple reasons against fluoridation Saturday night at the Vernon Township Building in a presentation sponsored by Clean Water Meadville, a citizens group opposing fluoridation. About 30 people were on hand for the presentation including several local elected officials — Michael Jordan and John Shartle, both supervisors in West Mead Township, John Amato, a Crawford County commissioner and Sean Donahue, deputy mayor of Meadville and member of Meadville City Council.
Meadville Area Water Authority plans to hold a public community discussion on water fluoridation next month. The addition of fluoride to MAWA's system is under consideration as a way to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoride is extracted from rocks and initially was a byproduct from fertilizer plants, according to Greinke.
However, Greinke said his bigger concerns center on fluoride as the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment.
"It's unethical because you shouldn't use the public water supply to deliver any drug," he said. "You can't control who gets it, you can't control the dose, there's no followup by doctors. It violates the right to informed consent — you can't treat anyone with a drug without their consent."
Greinke said another potential problem with fluoridation is the risk of dental fluorosis — also called mottled enamel — especially for children. According to Greinke, it's a disorder characterized by hypo-mineralization of tooth enamel caused by ingestion of excessive fluoride during enamel formation.
The mineral fluoride occurs naturally and is released from rocks into the soil, water and air, according the federal Centers for Disease Control. All water contains some fluoride, according to the CDC's website. Usually, the fluoride level in water is not enough to prevent tooth decay, however, some groundwater and natural springs can have naturally high levels of fluoride, according to the CDC.
MAWA supplies water to approximately 16,000 residents in Meadville and parts of Vernon and West Mead townships. MAWA also provides bulk water to the Vernon Township Water Authority, which serves approximately 475 residential and commercial customers.
The water MAWA currently supplies to customers contains 0.2 parts per million (or 0.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter) of water on average, according to MAWA’s 2016 Annual Water Quality Report, which is available on the MAWA website. The Centers for Disease Control recommends 0.7 ppm for optimal prevention of tooth decay.
Members of Clean Water Meadville plan to meet this coming Saturday at a location and time to be determined to brainstorm on what can be done to educate the public about fluoridation, according to Chris Knapp, a spokesman for the group.
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at email@example.com.
YOU CAN GO
Meadville Area Water Authority holds its community discussion of water fluoridation at 6:30 p.m. May 4 at the Lew Davies Community Center, 1034 Park Ave., Meadville.
MAWA’s community discussion will feature presentations by two groups — Meadville Smiles, a pro-fluoridation group, and Clean Water Meadville. The groups will each be given about 30 minutes for their presentations, followed by 10 to 15 minutes for rebuttal. After the conclusion of the presentations, members of the public will have the opportunity to voice their opinions as well.