Edgartown voters have less than 90 days to petition against fluoride


The Edgartown board of health voted to act on a statute that will add fluoride to the water system by mid-January, unless 10 percent of voters petition to put the issue before voters at town meeting. During Tuesday’s board of health meeting, water commission superintendent Bill Chapman and board of selectmen chairman Arthur Smadbeck advised the board of health to rescind its vote to act on the statute, which they declined to do. Petitions have begun to circulate in Edgartown, and on Saturday, Nov. 11, there will be a drive-through signing for registered voters.

“Residents are upset with the lack of transparency,” Mr. Chapman said. “Voters have a right to have a say in this matter.”


  1. The names of the Board of Health members who voted for fluoridation should be made public so they can be voted out of office at the earliest convenience.

    • Just an FYI for you from the Gazette: “Board members Harold Zadeh and Dr. Garrett Orazem voted in favor; Kathie N. Case abstained.”

  2. Flouridation is a harmful waste of money. 99% of piped water use is for washing, bathing, watering lawns, etc. ( Many people rightly do not drink unfiltered piped water since it is by nature of the treatment & piping not known to be clean enough to drink at the end user’s faucet.) This means that 99% of the flouride is wasted, and spread around the local environment. There is no proof whatsoever that Islanders benefit from flouridation. The irrationality of flouride supporters is disappointing. Nowhere else in government or private enterprise is a 99% waste/failure considered acceptable. If parents are concerned about their kid’s dental health, they can take personal responsibility for that within their individual residence. (e.g. use flouride pills or flouridate their own household.) Why is adding flouride to everyone’s piped water system ok, but not various vitamins, anti depressants, or hundreds of other bioactive molecules that could be argued to benefit people? It is insane to medicate the water supply with flouride. It is a 99% waste of money for a dubious unproven benefit. Sign the petition and vote no on flouridation !

  3. Dando

    1. Countless peer-reviewed scientific studies clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of water fluoridation in the prevention of dental decay in entire populations. I will gladly cite as many as anyone would reasonably care to read.

    In the entire 72 year history of fluoridation, hundreds of millions of people having chronically ingested optimally fluoridated water during this time, there have been no proven adverse effects.

    At a cost of less than $1 per person, per year for fluoridation, there is no other such preventive measure which even approaches the cost-effectiveness of fluoridation.

    Peer-reviewed science has demonstrated there to be no adverse effect on the environment from optimally fluoridated water.

    Peer-reviewed science has demonstrated there to be a $15-$50 savings to communities, per $1 spent on fluoridation.

    Given these facts, it makes no difference how much “of the fluoride is wasted”. Water fluoridation works as it is supposed to work, in the most cost-effective manner possible, with no adverse effects.

    By your “logic”, water should not be chlorinated either, as 99% of the chlorine is “wasted.”

    2. Fluoride has always existed in water, and always will, fluoridated or not. Water fluoridation does nothing but adjust the level of this fluoride in water up to the concentration where maximum dental decay prevention will occur in the population served by that water, with no adverse effects. We will ingest fluoride in our water anyway. Fluoridation simply ensures that we obtain maximum benefit when so doing.

    The “irrationality” is obviously yours and that of other antifluoridationists who have not bothered to understand this issue in the least before reaching and disseminating uninformed conclusions.

    3. “various vitamins, anti depressants, or hundreds of other bioactive molecules that could be argued to benefit people” do not already exist in water naturally, as does fluoride…..have not been demonstrated to be safe for ingestion by all individuals, as has optimal level fluoride over the past 72 years……and have not been demonstrated to provide benefit when added to water supplies in minuscule amounts, as has optimal level fluoride.

    4. There is no medication involved in water fluoridation. There are only fluoride ions, identical to those which have always existed in water.

    5. Because you are blissfully unaware of the scientific literature does not mean that there is no benefit to fluoridation. It means that you need to better educate yourself on the issue prior to making ridiculous claims which you cannot support.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Communications Officer
    American Fluoridation Society

    • What seems to be overlooked in the scientific/pseudo scientific wrangling surrounding the fluoridation argument is that there still exist free people here and elsewhere who simply do not want Big Brother, beneficent or otherwise, compelling them in matters of personal health. We want our water department to deliver the closest thing to straight H20 that can be managed. We can choose our own ions.

      • Quick background, I’ve posted that my Dad worked for a company known chemical products. The water was good where I grew up, Dad still installed a filter on the feed and periodically tested for contaminants. If you’ve the skillset, be cautious.

  4. There are good arguments and good people on both sides of THIS issue, and the debate has been raging for years. My problem with this is that it seems to me the board of health is going about it in the wrong order. For a few people to just make a decision, pass it without public comment, and then wait for the inevitable outcry is no way for a free society to be governed. The board of health should remember that they work for the people. We can have the debate, then decide. We can expect more out of our officials. No one asked the citizens of Flint Michigan if they wanted lead in their water. Bad things happen when government is not transparent.

  5. Where is the out cry? “a strong expression of public disapproval or anger” A few people who troll the MV Times Comment page do not add up to a public Out Cry? Science and Math say that fluoride reduces tooth decay inexpensively and effectively, children with bad teeth can not learn. It is in the public interest for children to be healthy and educated. Instead of spreading your fake facts try actually offering realistic science based solutions. The Edgartown Board of Health decision will benefit the entire community, happy, healthy children who will not grow up to be angry internet trolls with rotten teeth.

  6. Beware the fluoridation lobbyist above soothsaying you to sleep. Industrial fluoride is not natural molecule nor a nutrient ( it comes in bags marked Hazardous Material), and dosing public waters without radical justification and consent is unethical. It’s a huge waste of taxpayer money that requires constant maintenance and monitoring. Fluoridate yourself in your own home if you want. Either way, there will be a class action lawsuit before long, and these medicalizing the public water clowns will be buried in history. http://fluoridealert.org/news/

    • Your reference, the Fluoride Action Network, presents claims without sources. If they won’t, go do proper research and information gathering yourself.

    • Fluoride occurs naturally in drinking water. The CDC and FDA have documented safe limits for fluorine content and water can filter if required. That’s already done as part of our “wasting” taxpayer money. Industrial fluoride is not used to fluoridate water, rather as part of the process to make the fluoride compounds which are; favorites are sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid, and sodium fluorosilicate.

  7. It occurred to me that in fluoridating the water the town would also be infecting all the restaurant water used to prepare food for guests, not to mention the watering of lawns some of the run off of which will get into the harbor. A notice should be posted for boaters on the water barge warning of fluoridation. I wonder if the fish like to be fluoridated? Unintended consequences….

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