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Letter to McMinnville Water and Light

October 19, 2010

In an August 24, 2010 letter to McMinnville Water & Light, Mac Citizens for Safer Water requested the issue of fluoridation be put on the ballot on Nov. 2, 2010, the 50th anniversary of the prior vote in McMinnville. After 50 years, we believe it is fair and prudent to re-evaluate the issue of fluoridation in the public water supply.

Cited in the letter were 7 reasons for McMinnville to re-vote on the issue of forced fluoridation:

  1. Many people, rightly or wrongly, fear it. Should they be forced to consume a product that has little or no scientifically proven beneficial effect?
  2. EVEN IF fluoride is beneficial to the teeth of children up to about age 12,
    1. There are many natural sources in food and tea and bottled water.
    2. Children can be given fluoride in drops or from other sources, while adults, who derive little or no benefit, will not be forced to take it.
    3. Putting fluoride in city water is wasted on adults.
  3. Major waste occurs since most city water is not consumed internally.
    More than four times as much water goes through our system as is used for personal consumption. Personal water consumption is between 200 and 300 liters per day [80 gal/day]. W&L measures 13 million gallons per day going through the water treatment plant. At 30,000 population inside city limits, that is about 2.4 million gallons per day. EVEN IF the larger area served by Water and Light serves 40,000 people, that would be 3.2 million gallons per day, or less than 25 percent for residential use. We don’t drink 80 gallons of water a day – much of that consumption is used to clean cars, laundry, sidewalks, and to irrigate lawns and gardens.
  4. The AWWA [American Water Works Association] has reported in one of their Water Conservation pamphlets that less than 1 percent of utilities-treated water is ever consumed [i.e. swallowed] by human beings. The rest goes to landscape watering, washing uses, industrial cleaning uses, and down drains.
  5. The $36,500 spent every year to add fluoride to McMinnville’s water supply could be given to dentists, for example, to conduct dental health education programs in the city.
  6. In the 1950s, there was little information about long-term effects of fluoridation of water. Additional information now indicates it is not as beneficial as people thought. For example, tooth decay reduction claims vary. From early claims of 65 percent reduction, estimates now range from 40 percent to 15 percent.
  7. Dosage of fluoride is uneven and uncontrollable through city water. People have different body mass, different weight and height, different water consumption habits. How much water do you drink? How much water do your children drink?
  8. Some additional sources for information about fluoridation, including pro-fluoride:

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