Wellington’s water: The debate over fluoride use surfaces


Depending on who is asked, water fluoridation is either a modern marvel of preventative dentistry or a poison putting people in danger.

Wellington’s water practices are back in the spotlight for the first time since 2014 when the village became the first municipality in Palm Beach County to stop fluoridating its water. The village had been adding the element to the water since 2000.

To read the latest headlines from Wellington, go to palmbeachpost.com/wellington

The then village council listened to strong opinions on both sides of the argument before deciding to stop the fluoridation process in a close 3-2 vote.

The decision drew jeers from dentists and even a not-so-nice mention from the Washington Post’s Wonkblog, ranking the choice as one of the 11 worst policy decisions of 2014.

Many of the government and national health organizations say science is in their side in supporting the use of it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said adding small amounts of fluoride to water can reduce the change of tooth decay in children and adults by 25 percent.

The CDC linked a sharp decline in tooth decay to the fluoridation practice and went as far as to call it “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Other entities like American Dental Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Public Health Service and World Health Organization also support adding fluoride to water.

But there is still some controversy surrounding the idea, with groups rallying hard to fight against it.

The main opponent is the Fluoride Action Network, which boasts 79,000 members and thinks adding fluoride to water is mass-medicating the population without its consent.

It shows evidence that too much fluoride in water can cause problems with teeth, adding it could also have unknown long-term effects on bones and kidneys.

Palm Beach County is split. Some municipalities like West Palm Beach and Delray Beach have it in the water. Others like Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens do not. The county water supply, which serves more than 400,000 people also includes added fluoride.

The debate in Wellington has already began, but if you have a strong opinion either way, the day to voice it is June 28 at 7 p.m. The council will be listening to both sides before making any decisions.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

BREAKING: PBSO says laser 'blinds' helicopter pilots during Lake Worth blackout
BREAKING: PBSO says laser 'blinds' helicopter pilots during Lake Worth blackout

A 33-year-old woman is facing a felony charge for allegedly pointing a green laser at the cockpit of a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office helicopter that was patrolling Lake Worth early Thursday. A PBSO deputy and his co-pilot were surveying Lake Worth during the six-hour, citywide power outage when city resident Jacqueline Robledo...
Ex-Riviera Beach manager sues city over his firing
Ex-Riviera Beach manager sues city over his firing

Fired city manager Jonathan Evans has sued Riviera Beach and three of its council members, alleging they axed him last September, after six months on the job, because he sought to crack down on sexual misconduct by staffers and improper spending by the council. In a suit filed late last month in federal court in West Palm Beach, Evans alleged the city...
What is selfitis? 5 things to know about the obsessive selfie disorder 
What is selfitis? 5 things to know about the obsessive selfie disorder 

The term "selfitis" may have started off as a hoax back in 2014, but now psychologists have warned it's a genuine mental health issue. Researchers form the Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and Thiagarajar School of Management in India actually investigated the social media phenomenon, leading them to create...
NEW: Man stabbed to death at West Palm senior home, medical examiner says
NEW: Man stabbed to death at West Palm senior home, medical examiner says

As rescue crews wheeled a bloodied 65-year-old out of a senior-living home April 2, the man pointed toward an apartment door.   That’s where the person who stabbed him in the face lived, Mathew Stevens told West Palm Beach authorities.  Stevens died from those stab wounds nearly three weeks later. The Palm Beach...
Suit: Jail keeps teens in solitary for months without care, education
Suit: Jail keeps teens in solitary for months without care, education

One young inmate in solitary confinement at the Palm Beach County jail hallucinated, staring at the blank wall of his cell, thinking he was watching a television show, a federal lawsuit filed Thursday alleges. A 16-year-old got his teeth knocked out by deputies after flooding his cell with toilet water when his telephone privileges were cut...
More Stories