The Edgartown board of health will be holding a forum for the public to learn about the value of community water fluoridation.
Water fluoridation has been a contentious topic nationally and on the Island. Proponents of water fluoridation say having fluoride put into the public water is beneficial, as it strengthens teeth and prevents cavities. Opponents of water fluoridation say it is not healthy, and that the addition of fluoride into public water should not be a decision of local, state, or federal government, but the decision of each individual household.
Edgartown voters were angered in November when Edgartown board of health members Harold Zadeh and Dr. Garrett Orazem voted 2-1 in favor of adding fluoride to the water. Board of health member Kathie Case abstained.
The decision on whether to add fluoride to the town water supply will be up to the voters on the Edgartown annual town ballot on April 12.
The forum panel is still being assembled, but currently consists of Bruce Golden, DDS; Dr. David Samuels, a periodontist; and Matt Poole, the Edgartown board of health agent. The Rev. Chip Seadale of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church will be the forum moderator.
The forum will be primarily a listening session. “There will be an opportunity for public participation,” Poole said. “We are trying to make this a focused conversation on the Edgartown board of health proposal.”
The forum will be held in the public meeting room at the Edgartown Public Library from 7 to 9 pm on Thursday, March 8.