Union County advances fluoride ban in its water – WSOC TV

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Union County commissioners are close to banning fluoride in the county's water system. This applies only to water treatment facilities and systems owned and operated by Union County. This is the Yadkin River water treatment plant, which is expected to come online in the coming months. It does not apply to systems over which Union County does not have complete control, including the Catawba River Water Supply Project, which is used by two-thirds of Union County residents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water fluoridation is one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.

During Monday night's Union County Commission meeting, dentists and dentists told county commissioners that adding small amounts of fluoride promotes healthy teeth and prevents tooth decay.

Full house for the fluoride debate. The first speaker was an ECU dental professor who spoke about the benefits of fluoride. The next speaker thanked the Union County Commissioners for the discussion and said tonight's vote would reverse “60 years of poisoning the public” pic.twitter.com/3Jw6bv2qJr

— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) February 5, 2024

“This is the most effective way to treat tooth decay,” said dentist Meg Lochary.

Hundreds of millions of people in the United States drink water containing fluoride every day. The American Academy of Pediatrics supports this.

“I can’t understand why we want to reject the opinions of modern medicine,” one resident told commissioners.

“People deserve the best that science has to offer,” said Mark Moss, a professor of dentistry at Eastern Carolina University.

Despite what medical professionals have said, a group of concerned residents called on Union County commissioners to take action against the scientific evidence.

“You shouldn’t care what the CDC recommends,” resident Maria Reid said.

“This is a significant achievement or milestone in reversing over 60 years of poisoning of the public,” said resident Harold Schumacher.

They urged leaders to reconsider this practice. Some told commissioners they view this as a medical freedom decision.

“I don’t agree with adding fluoride to my water,” said one resident.

This call for freedom of choice and consent was echoed by most commissioners. Vice Chairman Brian Helms compared adding fluoride to the water to forcing residents to medicate. Helms said just because fluoride has been in Union County water for dozens of years doesn't make it right. He and two other members, Melissa Merrell and David Williams, voted for the ban.

The ban will not come into force yet. Since the vote was not unanimous, they will have to vote again at the next meeting in two weeks.

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