Posted on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 2:15 p.m.
Will Clarence-Rockland add fluoride to its water?
A Rockland resident is currently juggling the idea of starting a class action suit against the city for not having fluoride in its drinking water.
“I was bandying about the idea of starting a class action suit against the city for not protecting its people from tooth decay,” explained Pat Egan. “I have mentioned the issue to many people that live here, and almost all were very surprised that we did not have fluoridation. Many realized why their teeth were bad.”
According to the federal government’s website, fluoride is a mineral found naturally in Canada’s water, air, food and soil. “Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, a common yet serious disease in Canada,” stated the governmental website. “We have used fluoride to prevent tooth decay since the 1940s. In fact, fluoride has been scientifically proven to strengthen tooth enamel, lower the amount of acid in your mouth and rebuild minerals that make teeth stronger.”
But the substance does have drawbacks. Excessive consumption of fluoride has been linked to two potential effects on health: dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is a condition that changes the way teeth enamel looks - small white spots appear on permanent, adult teeth.
Skeletal fluorosis involves hardening of the bones and joints. It can happen when there is a very high amount of fluoride in bones. It is caused by ingesting very high levels of fluoride every day for a long time. Instances of skeletal fluorosis are extremely rare in Canada because water is adjusted to contain very low levels of fluoride and limit fluoride in products.
The City’s silent on the matter
Clarence-Rockland’s mayor, Guy Desjardins explained that he is aware of the substance’s many health benefits. Yet, he stressed that he hopes to tackle the issue at one point in the future, just not yet. “I still have questions regarding the environmental impact that fluoride can have,” he explained during a phone interview. “You have to understand that only 4% of our drinking water is actually ingested. 96% of it ends up in the river. That could create a problem for our local environment.”
In addition, Desjardins explained that introducing fluoride in the City’s water would be quite costly, having an estimated $500 000 price tag.
Furthermore, the mayor outlined that he recently looked into the number of complaints the City has received in the past regarding the usage of fluoride. “I could only find one,” he said.
According to the mayor, no community in Prescott-Russell, other than Embrun, utilize fluoride in their drinking water.