Health | Oregon | Politics | Fluoride

Portland Council Votes To Add Fluoride To Water

OPB | Sept. 12, 2012 4:32 a.m. | Updated: April 25, 2013 12:29 p.m. | Portland

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The Portland City Council has unanimously approved fluoridating the city’s water system. But a challenge to the plan has already been set in motion.

April Baer / OPB

About a dozen signs dotted the room, with opposition slogans like “Public water, public vote.” 

Several hecklers were thrown out. 

Council members including Amanda Fritz said they felt some concerns raised by opponents were valid. 

Fritz explained, “I don’t believe this measure is being funded by chemical companies, but I do recognize that there are people who are sensitive to fluoride. There are extreme views expounded on both sides of this issue.”

In the end, Fritz said she was voting yes not as a medical professional, but as a public official.

Members of Clean Water Portland say they’ll draft a referendum on fluoridation immediately, although they won’t be able to get it on the November ballot. The group is also pursuing a separate initiative to ban fluoride use in Portland. 

The soonest either issue could get in front of voters is 2014. 

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