Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Two years after overwhelmingly supporting fluoridation of their city water, Healdsburg voters will again weigh in on the issue. But the ballot language approved by the City Council appears headed toward a court challenge.
The question approved by the City Council Monday on a 4-1 vote is straightforward: “Shall the City of Healdsburg stop fluoridating its water supply?”
But to fluoride opponents it oversimplifies and ignores what their initiative petition asked of voters: whether a moratorium should be instituted on fluoridation until the manufacturer of the additive provides detailed chemical reports and a written statement verifying its safety for ingestion.
Read more at: Healdsburg fluoridation struggle continues | The Press Democrat
Elena DuCharme, THE SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Water fluoridation appears to be cheap compared to more targeted alternatives. But in Sonoma County it would cost more than it saves. It would cost more for residents, cities, and the county as a whole.
Our County Health Department has adopted the oft-cited claim that that for every dollar spent on fluoridation, $38 would be saved on dental care annually for every individual – essentially a 38:1 return on investment (ROI). If this were true, it would be easy to see why it seems so appealing to local governments compared to other alternatives for preventing tooth decay.
But it’s not true, according to a new peer-reviewed article by Ko and Thiessen, published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health (March 2015). The study examines water fluoridation’s cost-effectiveness, specifically the basis for the 38:1 ROI claim. The authors found that merely by correcting for flawed assumptions in the original calculations, the ROI dropped to 3:1. And when they factored in the cost of treating “dental fluorosis” (defective tooth enamel commonly caused by drinking fluoridated water), the cost savings of water fluoridation completely vanished.
Read more via: Cost Effective? Is Water Fluoridation Worth the Expense?
Eloísa Ruano González, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma came out publicly on Monday night in opposition to adding fluoride to drinking water supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency.
It was the second time in the past two weeks that council members heard from anti-fluoridation activists, dentists and residents about water fluoridation. However, they emerged this time around with a 3-2 decision to send a letter of opposition to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.
“I’m a farmer,” Mayor David Cook said. “We worry about our land. We worry about the water underneath us.”
“When we’re talking about putting fluoride in the water . . .,” he added, “I would vote against that.”
Cook and council members Rachel Hundley and Gary Edwards voted in favor of sending the letter, while Laurie Gallian and Madolyn Agrimonti opposed the move.
“There’s still information out there that has yet to be released to us,” Gallian said, adding the county still is doing research on the fluoridation issue.
“This is, I feel, too soon to be sending this letter,” she said.
Read more via Sonoma opposes county plan to fluoridate water | The Press Democrat.
Angela Hart, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday approved a trio of actions aimed at improving dental health in Sonoma County, including a contract to complete a study on fluoridation of the county’s drinking water.
The draft engineering study, which includes a cost analysis for adding fluoride to the county’s water system, was commissioned by supervisors in February 2013 for $103,000 but it has yet to be publicly released.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors authorized paying an additional $10,000 to MWH Americas, a Colorado-based firm, to incorporate feedback from the county’s new public health officer and other officials into their analysis.
Before the vote, Supervisor Susan Gorin voiced some concern about allocating additional money to a study that she and her fellow supervisors have yet to see.
“This caught me a bit by surprise,” she said. “I have some serious concerns — this might be a bit premature because this board hasn’t made a final determination about where it’s going with fluoridation.”
Tuesday’s vote, originally slated for swift approval without public comment, was moved off the Board of Supervisors consent calendar to the regular calendar, offering the chance for a broader discussion.
Two people spoke in opposition, including Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, an anti-fluoridation activist who is seeking to curtail the county’s push to fluoridate its drinking water, citing what she has characterized as faulty science and supposed health dangers.
via Sonoma County approves more money for work on | The Press Democrat.
Stephen Fuller-Rowell, SONOMA COUNTY GAZETTE
Co-Founder of Fluoride-Free Sonoma County & Member of the Fluoridation Advisory Committee
In recent years, many communities in salmon country on the Pacific Coast have said “No” to community water fluoridation after considering the impact on fish and other creatures living in their waterways. With three endangered salmon species in Sonoma County, the purity of our rivers, creeks and streams is essential.
Our County Health Services Department is currently proposing to fluoridate our public water. This would mean injecting about 60 tons of fluoride chemicals into the water system every year. Because we drink less than 1% of our tap water, more than 99% goes straight down the drain, onto our lawns and gardens, into our sewers, and on our crops and fields. Much runs off into the creeks and waterways in which our fragile salmon species live and migrate.
To examine fluoridation’s potential impact on our fish, the County hired a consultant, Cardno Entrix, who presented their draft report to the County’s Fluoridation Advisory Committee. This committee will discuss the report at its upcoming December 8 meeting.
Unfortunately, the report, entitled Draft Assessment of Potential Impacts to Federally Listed Salmonids from Community Water Fluoridation in Sonoma County, contains a number of fundamental and disturbing deficiencies:
The report focuses on the wrong question and fails to deal with the real threat water fluoridation poses to our fish. The point of this aquatic assessment is to examine the range of risks fluoridation poses to Sonoma County’s fish and waterways. But the consultant focuses its investigation only on whether fluoride levels in our waterways could increase enough to kill or cause physiological changes in fish (this starts to happen at 4.4 parts per million, according to the report).
By limiting its focus to this issue, the consultant avoids grappling with the more realistic risk: Do elevated fluoride levels impact fish migration behavior, their food supply, and their ability to feed? And any changes in normal life cycle, reproduction behavior and the ability to migrate could threaten an entire species.
Read more via Fluoride vs. Fish: Sonoma County Health Dept’s EIR Report.
Clark Mason, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
More than 60 years after Healdsburg voters approved adding fluoride to the city’s water to fight tooth decay, they are being asked in Tuesday’s election to once again either approve or reject the practice, foreshadowing a bigger battle that could come at the county level over fluoridation.
Generations of Healdsburg residents have been drinking fluoridated water since 1952, when the city became one of the first in the state to add it, part of a practice that now includes a majority of California communities and about 75 percent of the public water systems in the United States.
Although Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County that adds fluoride to its water, the county Department of Health Services is also evaluating potential fluoridation of the county Water Agency’s supply. The agency serves more than 600,000 customers in the North Bay, including Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Windsor, Sonoma, Valley of the Moon and parts of Marin.
Read more via Healdsburg voters to weigh in on fluoride measure | The Press Democrat.
Elizabeth M. Cosin, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The decision on whether Healdsburg should end its more than 60-year practice of adding fluoride to the water supply will go to the voters in November.
The Healdsburg City Council voted unanimously to place the controversial measure on the Nov. 4 ballot. If approved, it would end the only government fluoridation program in Sonoma County.
A Rohnert Park group spearheaded the effort, seeking and collecting the more than 1,000 signatures needed by city law.
“We’re very pleased,” said Dawna Gallagher Stroeh of Clean Water Sonoma-Marin, which has also been battling efforts by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors to add fluoride to its water supply.
via Healdsburg council calls for vote on fluoride issue | The Press Democrat.
Living on Earth, PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL
Air Date: Week of February 21, 2014
stream/download this segment as an MP3 file
New research finds exposure to fluoride in drinking water and several other common chemicals in early life diminishes brain function in children. Study lead author, Philippe Grandjean, tells host Steve Curwood fluoride, flame retardants, pesticides and and fuel additives may be affecting children’s intelligence.
via Living on Earth: Flouride and Other Chemical Risks.
Lynn Kwitt, Fluoride Free Sonoma County, PUBLICCEO.COM
In an unprecedented 5-0 City Council vote on November 12, Cotati joined a growing number of college towns including Davis, California, and Portland, Oregon, voting to keep fluoridation chemicals out of their water supply.
Cotati is one of nine major cities and water districts supplied by the Sonoma County Water Agency SCWA. These cities and water districts deliver drinking water to more than 600,000 residents in portions of Sonoma and Marin counties. Only Santa Rosa, Petaluma and the North Marin Water District have more than 10,000 connections and are subject to the California State AB733 mandate to fluoridate if funding is available. Because Cotati and the other five jurisdictions in the SCWA service area have fewer than 10,000 connections, they are not subject to the State mandate and are free to choose whether or not to fluoridate.
via Setback for Sonoma County Fluoridation Plans | PublicCEO.
Dave Williams, THE COMMUNITY VOICE
Cotati became the first city in Sonoma County to voice an opinion on the concept of water fluoridation throughout the county at its City Council meeting on November 12.
After hearing presentations from proponents and opponents of fluoridation as well as a number of audience members, the council responded with a unanimous no vote at around 10:45 p.m.
The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is expected to take up this issue sometime in the spring of 2014, and thus far, the board has seemed in favor of fluoridation. Before the issue is actually voted on by the county board, representatives from the Sonoma County Dept. of Health Services will go to council meetings throughout Sonoma County extolling the virtues of fluoridation, while opponents will be at the same meetings trying to dispel their case.
via The Community Voice – Archives.