Sandpoint to stop fluoridating water

Sandpoint will quit adding fluoride to the municipal water system that also serves communities from Kootenai to Dover.

Last week’s 4-2 vote by the Sandpoint City Council followed comments by more than a dozen fluoride opponents, some of whom said they were being medicated against their will, the Bonner Daily Bee reported.

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. It is credited with greatly reducing tooth decay.

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

Fluoride is added to water supplies in Lewiston and Bonners Ferry, Idaho, but not in Spokane or Coeur d’Alene.

Spokane County voters most recently rejected fluoridation in 2000.

Seattle voted to fluoridate its water 40 years ago.

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