FLINT (WJRT) (11/08/2017) - To treat or not to treat?
That's a debate going on in Genesee County as the Board of Commissioners decides whether to add fluoride to the county's new drinking water supply from the Karegnondi Water Authority.
The Board of Commissioners held a public hearing Wednesday evening to gauge the public's thoughts on adding fluoride to the water, which is meant to prevent tooth decay.
"I firmly believe that fluoride in water supplies is essential to maintaining good oral health," said Corey Taylor, a dental hygienist in Grand Blanc Township.
She spoke out during the public hearing in support of adding fluoride.
"There's really no scientific-based evidence that fluoride has adverse effects on anyone," Taylor said.
However, several people also spoke out against adding fluoride. While some say the fluoride added to water is a naturally occurring element, others believe it's actually an acidic byproduct.
Others said fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash helps teeth, but that generally isn't swallowed. They believe fully ingesting fluoride into the body can have harmful effects.
Municipal drinking water for Genesee County currently comes from the Great Lakes Water Authority in Detroit, which has added fluoride to its water for decades.
Municipalities excluding the city of Flint are preparing to switch to a new water supply drawn from Lake Huron by the KWA and treated at the new Genesee County Water Treatment Plant. Before the plant begins operation, the Board of Commissioners needs to make a decision on adding fluoride.
Wednesday's public hearing was advisory only. If commissioners take no action, fluoride automatically will be added, but the issue can be put up for a public vote.
Right now, the county water supply comes from Detroit, and it has fluoride in it. But soon the county with more than a dozen communities will get their water through the KWA pipeline, which is an untreated water source. But Before it's sent to homes, a decision will need to be made at the county level - about whether or not to add fluoride.