Arrow-right Camera
News >  Spokane

Sandpoint ends fluoridation

The Sandpoint City Council has voted to quit adding fluoride to the municipal water system that also serves communities from Kootenai to Dover.

The 4-2 vote last week followed comments by more than a dozen people arguing against fluoridation at the meeting. Some who spoke out against fluoridation said they were being medicated against their will, the Bonner Daily Bee reported.

Fluoride is added to drinking water to help reduce tooth decay. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists fluoridation of public water supplies as one of the “10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century,” along with such things as seat belts, vaccines and anti-smoking campaigns.

Of Americans served by public water systems, about 69 percent drink fluoridated water, according to 2006 statistics from the CDC. In Idaho, the figure was 31 percent, and in Washington, nearly 63 percent.

Fluoride is added to water supplies in Lewiston and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, but not in Spokane or Coeur d’Alene. Spokane County voters have repeatedly rejected fluoridation, most recently in 2000. Seattle voted to fluoridate its water 40 years ago.