A coalition supporting fluorinated drinking water has been working on getting a fluoridation proposal before the Portland City Council. Fluoride proponents say it’s a substance that’s been shown to reduce tooth decay and improve health. Opponents contend that the benefits are unproven and do not outweigh side effects, and that people should have a choice as to whether they ingest fluoride.
Portland is the second-largest city in the nation not to add fluoride to its water supply. 39 public water systems in the Oregon do fluoridate — including Tualatin, Beaverton and Salem. Residents of Philomath recently voted to bring fluoride back into its taps.
Do you support adding fluoride to municipal drinking water? Why or why not? What are the most important science or policy questions on your mind?
- Kylie Menagh-Johnson: Spokewoman for the Everyone Deserves Healthy Teeth coalition
- Kim Kaminski: Executive director for Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water
- Ken Wright: Executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Dental Program
- Bill Osmunson: Practicing dentist who opposes the use of fluoride
Update Wednesday, August 15th: At the end of the show, Dave Miller invited Kim Kaminski and Kylie Menagh-Johnson to send along two or three articles they felt best made their best case (against and for fluoridation). Here’s what we’ve received from them so far:
- Environmental Health Perspectives: Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Community Water Fluoridation: Questions and Answers
- PEW Center on the States: Campaign for Dental Health: Life is Better with Teeth
- Oregon Department of Human Services: Oregon Smiles Survey 2007 (pdf)
Editor’s note: This post has been corrected to reflect that Portland is the second-largest city without fluoridated water. San Jose voted to fluoridate last year but hasn’t begun to do so yet.