The City wants to see more information on water fluoridation before taking a side on the topic after concerns were brought forward by a resident in May. If anything were to happen it would have to be done with the County of Grande Prairie and the Town of Sexsmith, but Councillor Dwight Logan doesn’t think the responsibility should fall on them in the first place.
“Unfortunately it is a part of the responsibilities of the city councils under our municipal government system, but it was never meant to be handling what is basically a health issue. We happen to handle the utility of water and that’s what puts it in our lap right now as a discussion.”
However, Logan does agree that the City should come up with a clear position on the practice. A Committee of the Whole meeting was held Friday, when councillors decided the best next step would be to ask for the positions of experts like Health Canada, Alberta Health Services and the Canadian Dental Association, and to look into how other municipalities in the province have dealt with the issue. That will be brought forward for a vote at Monday’s city council meeting.
Councillor Chris Thiessen admits he is an advocate for removing artificial fluoride, but wants to learn more before taking any steps forward.
“I understand that fluoride is a topical substance that is good on the teeth; I just question it’s necessary for us as a municipality with a municipal water system that we’re going to be putting essentially a medication in our water and have been for quite some time. We’ve never questioned the ethics of that.”
According to Aquatera, the concentration of fluoride in its raw water varies between .08 milligrams per litre to 0.1 mg/L. It notes that fluoride is also naturally found in water drawn from the Wapiti River, but hydrofluosilicic acid is added to boost the amount.