What One Man Secretly Did To A Town’s Water Supply For Years Will….
Residents of a small community in Vermont were blindsided last month by news that one official in their water department quietly lowered fluoride levels nearly four years ago, giving rise to worries about their children’s dental health and transparent government — and highlighting the enduring misinformation around water fluoridation.
Water superintendent Kendall Chamberlin, a 37-year worker, acknowledged during a September 19 meeting of the town’s Water and Sewer Commission that he lowered the fluoride level to less than half of what's recommended by the state due to his own safety concerns.
According to reports, Chamberlin believes he was right to reduce the amount of fluoride in the water because he worries about fluoride as a chemical and the fact that it often comes from the Asian country of China.
He said he recalled lowering it amid media reports about chemicals in dog food and baby formula from China, including one quoting a U.S. senator questioning the wisdom of using fluoride from China in U.S. water supplies.
The addition of fluoride to public drinking water systems has been routine in communities across the United States since the 1940s and 1950s but still doesn't sit well with some people, and many countries don't fluoridate water for various reasons, including feasibility.
Critics argue that the health effects of fluoride aren’t fully known and that its addition to municipal water can amount to an unwanted medication; some communities in recent years have ended the practice.
In 2015, the U.S. government lowered its recommended amount of drinking water after some children got too much of it, causing white splotches on their teeth.
More details of this story from AWM:
The CDC also reported that in 2018 73 percent of the United States population was given water with enough fluoride in it to protect their teeth from unwanted decay.
Chamberlin doesn’t think people in his town need the protection fluoride has been proven to provide.
“My duty is to take reasonable care and judgment for the protection of public health, safety, and the environment of my customers,’ he said, adding that ‘to err on the side of caution is not a bad position to be in,” Chamberlin said.
Two of three fluoride additives in United States water systems do come from China because no American has created a business to manufacture the chemical within America’s borders. Could this be an opportunity for an enterprising American?
Meanwhile, residents of Richmond, Vermont, were furious that one man took it upon himself to change the level of fluoride in the drinking water.
“For a single person to unilaterally make the decision that this public health benefit might not be warranted is inappropriate. I think it’s outrageous,” retired Dr. Allen Knowles said at the Sept. 19 meeting.
Dr. Knowles thought his baby granddaughter was getting adequate fluoride to protect her new teeth.
“Fluoride, again, is one of the most successful and important public health measures that has ever been undertaken in this country,” Dr. Knowles said. “The reduction in dental disease is just inarguable. You don’t establish safety based on one person’s opinion.”
According to AWM, the town commission has voted to return drinking water to full fluoridation.
It is unclear if Chamberlin will continue to hold his position of power now that his secret mission to reduce the community’s protection has been exposed.
Is there any indication whatsoever, any evidence that anything regarding the water in Richmond, Vermont had anything to do with anything coming from China?
Well, on this point, it is apparently true that the sodium fluoride that was being added to the water in Richmond, and many places, is in fact sourced from China. The question is whether that's a problem.