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City commissioner unexpectedly raises issue of Lawrence drinking water fluoridation

February 5, 2013


Like a cavity that sneaks up on you at the dentist office, Lawrence city commissioners found the makings of an unexpected debate on Tuesday.

Should the city’s two water treatment plants continue to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water?

City commissioners at their weekly meeting directed City Auditor Michael Eglinski to prepare a report summarizing the latest scientific research on whether adding fluoride to drinking water is beneficial.

City Commissioner Hugh Carter raised the fluoride issue after commissioners received a report related to taste and odor issues the city experienced with its water last summer.

Carter said he realizes the taste and odor issues aren’t related to fluoride, but he said the fluoride issue is one that has been on his mind for several months.

“People still are quoting research the government did in 1979,” Carter said. “I think that is about the last time the city studied the issue. I think on most issues we have found that better science has emerged than what we had in 1979.”

Commissioners on Tuesday didn’t take any votes on the fluoride issue but rather directed Eglinski to prepare the study. Other commissioners didn’t weigh in on whether they had any concerns about fluoride being added to the drinking water.

“You can never have too much information,” Mayor Bob Schumm said.

Carter said after the meeting that the mother of his children is in the health and nutrition field and has long cited more recent research that questions the benefits of fluoride in the drinking water. Carter said he also got an email from a concerned citizen about six months ago, which caused him to start thinking about the issue again.

“It is not a matter of whether this is terribly dangerous for us,” Carter said. “But if we can’t get a comfort level of whether this is good and has real value, then I don’t see any reason to keep adding it.”

Fluoride issues have arisen in other cities. Wichita voters last year rejected a ballot measure that would have required the city of Wichita to start adding fluoride to its water. Wichita voters also rejected the idea in 1964 and 1978, according to published reports in The Wichita Eagle.

Opponents of the measure in Wichita argued fluoridation has a long list of potential side effects, including staining of the teeth, reduced intelligence, cancer and thyroid disease, according to reports in The Eagle. Supporters argued fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.

According to reports in The Eagle, about 75 percent of the country drinks water with fluoride.

Lawrence city commissioners may get a report on the subject soon. Carter is leaving the commission in early April, after deciding not to run for re-election. He indicated he would like to see a report before then.

Eglinski, the city auditor, said he thought it would be pretty straightforward to compile a report on the latest scientific research on the issue.


The_Original_Bob 5 years, 3 months ago

"“You can never have too much information,” Mayor Bob Schumm said."

I hope he said this in the same tone as, "HAVE A RED HOOK ALE!!!!" as he did in the mid-90s in the Mass St. Deli commercials on TV.

James Reeves 5 years, 3 months ago

The FDA has never approved this industrial waste fluoride drug as safe and effective for human consumption. It is the only drug on the market without such approval. The city should demand from the supplier one, just one,  scientific study to prove that Hexafluorosilicic acid is safe and effective for all of the public; the infants, the children, the elders, those with allergies, kidney problems (pre-diabetics), and others with health problems.

There are no such studies, so when they can’t produce one, it should be reason enough to reject adding this toxic waste fluoride drug to drinking water.

beeline 5 years, 3 months ago

Fluoride is approved to the extent the FDA has jurisdiction.

The FDA is just one of several regulatory agencies that ensure public safety. The FDA's authority is limited to products sold to the public and fluoride has been approved for use in toothpastes, mouth rinses and even bottled water. The FDA has no role in approving drinking water additives pursuant to their agreement with the EPA in the early 1980's. Additives are covered by state regulation's. It should be noted that the FDA does not have the authority to approve many of the products we use every day.

lweinmaster 5 years, 3 months ago

thimerosal (mercury) is also one of the blunders of the FDA and has not been tested since 1929, these toxins were grandfathered in by the FDA without safety testing.

avarom 5 years, 3 months ago

Yep... Thimerosal is in the Flu Vaccine....interesting how they were promoting it these last two months....thinking we are all stupid....the vaccine shelf life was running out and the drug companies over estimated they vials they made to the public...people are smarting up... All the newscasters and pharmacies were TOLD.... to push the marketing, before they lose money on the flu expiration potency. NOW... all of the sudden the flu hype has stopped....Yep...most of us Fooled em....your better off taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and Zinc!! Research before you take any will very suprised what perservatives and fillers are in them...........

avarom 5 years, 3 months ago

I haven't been able to find in any long term peer-reviewed studies proving that chronic ingestion of industrial waste by-products (pollution) or "fluoride" is safe or effective at preventing tooth decay. They are not putting "calcium fluoride" into drinking water. It isn't even "pharmaceutical grade". It's an industrial waste by-product. Silicofluorides make up 91% of the "fluoride" compounds that are added to the public water supplies. In a November 2000 letter from the EPA, they admitted that they have NO information on the effects of silicofluorides on our health and they are dumping it into our water. There have been over 500 peer-reviewed studies documenting the adverse effects of fluoride but not one double-blind peer-reviewed study showing its benefits . Take a look at what is being dumped into our tap water. A lot of it is imported from China.… Does it look safe for human consumption?

Dr. Dean Burk, Chief Chemist Emeritus of the National Cancer Institute published a paper in 1975 that detailed an increase in cancer deaths in fluoridated areas. According to Burk, "In point of fact, fluoride causes more cancer, and causes it faster, than any other chemical".

avarom 5 years, 3 months ago

Dr. Phyllis Mullenix from Harvard describes fluoride as a neurotoxin… Fluoride has been linked to lower IQ's in children.

Fluoride being put in tap water hasn't even been approved by the FDA. In 1979 the FDA required the deletion of all government references previously classifying fluoride as "essential or probably essential". (Federal Register, March 16, 1979, page 16006).

It also delays the eruption of children's teeth by up to two years. This gives the "statistical illusion" that it is preventing cavities. The fluoride hypothesis is based on a statistical illusion. It's fraudulent science and it causes many health problems in both children and adults. Trendley Dean, DDS, (the "father of fluoridation"), the original promoter of water fluoridation as an effective tool in fighting dental decay, admitted over 50 years ago under oath, that his evidence purporting to prove the fluoridation hypothesis were not valid. (H. Trendley Dean: Proceedings, City of Oroville vs. Public Utilities Commission of the State of California, Oroville, California, Oroville, California, October 20-21, 1955.)… also… (See 4-1: “Fluoridation Benefits — Statistical Illusion.” Testimony of Konstantin K. Paluev, Research and Development Engineer, Mar. 6, 1957). To paraphrase Dean's findings, "As children's teeth disintegrate, they may have fewer cavities". Fluoride causes both bones and teeth to become brittle as well as causing both dental and skeletal fluorosis. Your body can only excrete 50% of the ingested fluoride. The rest accumulates in your body over your lifetime. People with diabetes or poorly functioning kidneys are at risk of having elevated levels of fluoride yet neither doctors not dentists check their fluoride levels. Fluoride is more toxic than lead and only slightly less toxic than arsenic. Yes, it is used in rat and roach poison. (Just research it)

Chad Lawhorn 5 years, 3 months ago

What's so strange? He's divorced, according to the profile we ran on him in 2011. Thanks, Chad

d_prowess 5 years, 3 months ago

I think the wording is weird too. It seems like saying ex-wife would have been a much more standard wording for their relationship. I don't know why children have any bearing on the relationship between him and this woman.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

City Commissioner Hugh Carter raised the fluoride issue after commissioners received a report related to taste and odor issues the city experienced with its water last summer.

---commenting on the main issue and not the fluoride ...

I was struck, listening to the auditor present his survey results and such that there was a sad acceptance that there is nothing that can be done to actually fix the bad taste/odor, and that he was entirely* blaming the two algae for this problem.

is it too much to ask that the people responsible just make the water in fact taste clean, instead of just having city folks giving up and discussing how best to communicate about the problem with the public?!?

NoSpin 5 years, 3 months ago

Let's do real scientific research. First of all, too much of anything is usually bad. We are fluoridating at 0.75ppm. Wichita has a natural fluoride content in its water of 0.25ppm. Optimal levels of fluoridation has been studied and been determined to be 1.0ppm. So, let's just say that fluoride causes cancer and less than intelligent people. A real scientist would go to areas where the natural fluoride levels are very high such as Colorado Springs(near the mountain) and near Lubbock, Texas where the levels are near 15ppm. You would then have to see if there was a high incidence of thyroid cancer and people with low IQs. I doubt you will find it. Fluoride can stain teeth at high concentrations in the towns that I mentioned and can cause very hard bones-No government conspiracy to kill us especially since they have to pay for our healthcare. Get rid of fluoridation= job security and wealth for the dental professionals and a bunch of kids complaining of toothaches. Hugh, please do some real research and stay away from Roswell.

NoNonsense 5 years, 3 months ago

Actually studies have been done in Colorado that prove it has disproportionate numbers of thyroid disease than everywhere else. Also a condition coined "Colorado Brown Stain" was given to describe the brown staining of their teeth caused by over-exposure to fluorides. But lets not forget that the naturally occurring fluoride there is calcium fluoride which is about 20x less toxic than silicofluorides used to artificially fluoridate water.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

wilbur, your posts are even less intelligible than usual, you smoking something up thar on Mt. Oread?

NoSpin 5 years, 3 months ago

Sorry about the sarcasm at the end of the post- getting cranky late in the evening.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

thanks for clarifying Wilbur, and no, not looking for smokes. was just gettin' worried about you.

Liberty275 5 years, 3 months ago

Remind us a few days before the election. And you need a campaign slogan.

Ben McDaniel 5 years, 3 months ago

Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

(For any of you young'uns who don't recognize that, those are lines from Dr. Strangelove. Which is a movie you must see.)

hipgrrrrl 5 years, 3 months ago

I do not have any fillings, cavities and have had very minimal exposure to flouride.

Mike Myers 5 years, 3 months ago

I grew up in Wichita and have a mouth chock full of metal.

NoNonsense 5 years, 3 months ago

You don't need to be an MD, you just need to have common sense. You see a chemical that is classified as a persistent bio-accumulative toxin and is illegal to dump anywhere in the environment and yet you add it to drinking water? That makes no sense.

And even if it really helped (and it does't) why would your dishwasher and laundry tub need it? And how did government ever get the right to medicate a populace without informed consent? And why aren't these chemicals regulated anywhere in the world as a drug, supplement or food additive? Who besides industry is profiting by its use? Certainly not the consumers. Major cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Montreal do not fluoridate their water and their oral health is as good or better than fluoridated Toronto.

KU_cynic 5 years, 3 months ago

Hugh Carter or Major Jack D. Ripper?

"Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake? Children's ice cream!...You know when fluoridation began?...1946. 1946, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works. I first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love... Yes, a profound sense of fatigue, a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I — I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence. I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women, er, women sense my power, and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake...but I do deny them my essence."

Nys Cof 5 years, 3 months ago

Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing

4,293 professionals (including 343 dentists and 538 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped because fluoridation is ineffective and harmful. Statement:

Dr. Yolanda Whyte, a primary care pediatrician, explains why she no longer supports water fluoridation.

Most dentists are trained to use politics and not science to promote fluoridation, according to Armfield and Melbye in the Journal of the American Dental Association . The researchers write: "Studies of dentists' attitudes about water fluoridation suggest that a lack of knowledge and preparedness are barriers to discussing the topic ... more than one-half of the respondents believed they needed more information and training on the issue.

Armfield and Melbye postulate that: "Dentists' lack of self-efficacy with respect to critically evaluating scientific literature may help to explain their reluctance to promote water fluoridation in their clinical practices."

In 2006, a National Research Council expert panel published a fluoride report which revealed that fluoride, even at low doses added to water supplies, can be especially harmful to the thyroid gland, kidney patients, babies, seniors and people who drink high amounts of water. They also revealed critical fluoride safety studies have never been done and studies linking fluoride to cancer and lower IQ are plausible.

Thirty-six human studies now link fluoride to lowered IQ, some at levels considered safe in the US. See:

After 68 years of water fluoridation, the Centers for Disease Control reports that up to 60% of 12-15 year-olds are affected with fluoride overdose symptoms – dental fluorosis, white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth. Yet, the CDC says More young kids face cavity crisis in US

Emergency rooms are flooded with people in dental pain, costing taxpayers millions of dollars, because 80% of dentists refuse Medicaid patients, 130 million Americans don’t have dental insurance. Many of those with insurance can’t afford dentistry’s high out-of-pocket costs. No American is or ever was fluoride-deficient. Too many are dentist-deficient.

Recently, 33,000 Portland, Oregon petition-signers halted the ill-advised fluoridation mandate by the Portland City Commission.

Joining hundreds of communities, Windsor, Ontario, and Cairns, Australia stopped fluoridation this year. Windsor’s Mayor, who has a chemistry background, explains why he voted with the majority to stop 51 years of water fluoridation in this radio interview.

For more info http://www.FluorideAction.Net

hipgrrrrl 5 years, 3 months ago

My understanding is that Lawrence also uses chloromine in their water, which is very difficult to filter out and nasty to ingest. Our solution? We carry our own water around when we're out of the house.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 3 months ago

What a stupid waste of time and resources.

NoNonsense 5 years, 3 months ago

artificial fluoridation is a huge waste of money - you pay for the chemicals, then dump 99% of it down the drain and on your lawns and through your car washes

NoNonsense 5 years, 3 months ago

Our city (Windsor, ON) just voted to stop artificial water fluoridation – now about 67% of Canadians have rejected it joining about 95% of the rest of the world. We are so proud of our council who did their homework and voted against the status quo. Artificial water fluoridation is unethical because it ignores your right to informed consent to be medicated and it discriminates because like any bio-accumulative toxin, fluorides effect the frailest, youngest, and those with the poorest nutrition and impaired kidney function the most.

Artificial fluoridation is ineffective. Check out the CDC's oral health maps posted online. Compare the states with the most fluoridation with the states that have the lowest rates of tooth loss. There is NO correlation. Then read where the CDC claims fluoride is predominantly effective when applied topically, not through ingestion. Finally, look at the the CDC's estimate that 41% of adolescents now have dental fluorosis - permanent damage to tooth enamel from over-exposure to fluorides. There is no such thing as being fluoride deficient but there is a real problem with getting too much.

chootspa 5 years, 3 months ago

That research was done in 1979, and today we have much better research tools: conspiracy websites and weirdly obsessed forum commenters. The funniest part is that I guarantee if they start posting links, they'll be on a site that - no lie - also has links to mind control devices they think are implanted by lizard people.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

Why don't they put salt peter in the water and send that water to the trailerhood?

Centerville 5 years, 3 months ago

Need to factor in the propensity of some parents to make sure their children only drink bottled water - rather than tap. Flouridation would be a waste of money as far as reaching these people.

Budgets_Smudgets 5 years, 3 months ago

The only organization I know which has opposed floridation is the John Birch Society. You know, the one associated with the Koch family in Wichita.

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

Suppose Fluoride does not cause health problems - NOT. Suppose Fluoride does provide some sort of health benefit - NOT.

Questions for the commissioners:

Does adding Fluoride provide for a safe water supply? That is, is Fluoride necessary for ensuring the water supply is safe?

If not, and it is only added for some imagined health benefit, then what about other health benefits? Such as vitamin D? Should vitamin D, or C, or other vitamins be added to the water supply? I hear broccoli prevents cancer. Should broccoli juice be added to the water supply? (Imagine the taste and odor then!)

If Fluoride supposedly treats some medical condition or prevents it, then how is the city ensuring that each person gets the adequate medication and not too less nor too much? What about kids who drink only soft drinks and no water at all? Has the city failed with its medication effort?

By the way, does the city have a proper medical license for medicating people and giving random dosages to the people?

Fluoride is nothing but a contaminate. I believe that intentionally adding contamination to the water supply is a crime. If the city does not cease from this crime, they should be booked and prosecuted.

orangekris 5 years, 3 months ago

It's really unfortunate that the city still pays to put fluoride, a toxic chemical, in our water. Anyone who doesn't believe fluoride is toxic really needs to read The Fluoride Deception by Christopher Bryson. The author is an award-winning journalist and former producer at the BBC. He does a great job explaining the history, politics and scientific findings about fluoride. You can also find interviews with the author on YouTube,

beeline 5 years, 3 months ago

Here are a few sources.

Recommendation for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the U.S. (Centers for Disease Control, 2001): "Widespread use of fluoride has been a major factor in the decline in the prevalence and severity of dental caries (i.e., tooth decay) in the United States and other economically developed countries. When used appropriately, fluoride is both safe and effective in preventing and controlling dental caries. All U.S. residents are likely exposed to some degree of fluoride, which is available from multiple sources." (Summary section, page 1) "Continue and extend fluoridation of community drinking water: Community water fluoridation is a safe, effective, and inexpensive way to prevent dental caries. This modality benefits persons in all age groups and of all SES, ...." (Recommendation section, page 24)

Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (2000): "Community water fluoridation is safe and effective in preventing dental caries in both children and adults. Water fluoridation benefits all residents served by community water supplies regardless of their social or economic status. Professional and individual measures, including the use of fluoride mouth rinses, gels, dentifrices, and dietary supplements and the application of dental sealants, are additional means of preventing dental caries." (Executive summary)

Review of Fluoride: Benefits and Risks (Public Health Service, 1991): "Extensive studies over the past 50 years have established that individuals whose drinking water is fluoridated show a reduction in dental caries. Although the comparative degree of measurable benefit has been reduced recently as other fluoride sources have become available in non-fluoride areas, the benefits of water fluoridation are still clearly evident." (Conclusions section, page 87)

gr 5 years, 3 months ago

beeline, why should the water supply be responsible for preventing cavities? If somehow you think it is, then what about preventing rickets? Do you think the water supply should have vitamin D in it? Why one and not the other? How do you ensure people get the adequate amount of medication? How do you force people to drink the proper amount of water to get their allotted medication? Should the city be responsible for medicating people? Shouldn't the purpose of providing a safe water supply be .... well, providing a safe water supply and not preventing rickets, cavities, cancer, or any other such disease or condition which ObamaCare supposedly is supposed to take care of?

Maybe, if you think preventing cavities is so important, the city should outlaw all softdrinks, all junk food, all fast food restaurants, etc.

lunacydetector 5 years, 3 months ago

'fluoride is a communist plot to control the citizens' were the claims in the 1970's.....since lawrence is a communist town, why would one of our supposedly elected communist commissioners want a study done on fluoride? oh, to detract from the plot.....ha, ha

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

Mikekt wrote: ... & if the rumors are true, that illegal aliens from outer space are walking the streets of Lawrence & attending school at KU

---uh, you don't need a report from the auditor to verify this one. just open your eyes, open your ears. take a walk. you'll be convinced of the truth of this one!

they're already HERE!

bearded_gnome 5 years, 3 months ago

so, nobody cares that our illustrious city does effectively nothing to fix the bad tasting water?


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