TRAVERSE CITY — They stood patiently in line, waiting their turn to speak for three minutes to city commissioners in hope of removing or retaining fluoride in the city’s drinking water.
An hour of public comment by more than 25 people didn’t sway a single commissioner from their previous position. Water fluoridation in Traverse City will continue, following a 5 to 1 vote on Monday. Commissioner Jim Carruthers cast the lone no vote.
“It’s nothing unusual,” said Carruthers, who has forced a roll-call vote on the issue for six years. “Maybe one day I’ll win, but I don’t expect to.”
Dental and health professionals outnumbered fluoride foes more than 2 to 1. They stressed the benefits of fluoride to prevent tooth decay in both children and adults. They cited studies and their own anecdotal experiences, telling commissioners they see greater tooth decay among patients who don’t have fluoride in their water.
Opponents expressed concerns about impurities in the fluoride solutions and possible negative health consequences from the additive.