To the Editor:
On April 12, 2018, at the annual town election, the voters of Edgartown will decide whether the town public water supply should be fluoridated.
Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, is useful for preventing dental caries, also called cavities or tooth decay. Dental caries is the most prevalent infectious disease of childhood. It is five times more prevalent than asthma. As almost everyone knows, it causes pain, and is difficult and expensive to treat. Fluoride in drinking water will reduce dental caries by 20 to 45 percent, even in the presence of other sources of fluoride, such as toothpaste.
The safety of community water fluoridation has been proven by careful review of scientists in the United States for 70 years. In 1945, the U.S. Public Health Service adjusted the fluoride in the city of Grand Rapids, Mich., from a naturally occurring trace level to 1 part fluoride per million parts of water. Shortly thereafter, two other U.S. cities and one Canadian city were artificially fluoridated, with three nearby, similarly sized cities not fluoridated, in carefully controlled trials. These controlled studies of the usefulness and safety of community water fluoridation continue to this present day, so that currently 210 million Americans are benefiting by drinking fluoridated water.
The vast majority of physicians, dentists, and other health professionals endorse the safety and value of this important public health measure. Unwavering support for water fluoridation from medical and dental organizations include the American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the National Head Start Association, the National Down’s Syndrome Society, the World Health Organization, every U.S. Surgeon General, and every President of the U.S., since and including President John F. Kennedy.
We, the undersigned, urge Edgartown voters to attend the annual town election on April 12, 2018, and answer ballot question No. 6: “Shall the public water supply for domestic use in the Town of Edgartown be fluoridated?” with a vote of “YES.”
Bruce E. Golden, D.D.S.
On behalf of Melanie Miller, M.D., Karen Gear, D.D.S., Garrett Orazem, D.M.D., Brian S. Cullen, D.M.D., David S. Samuels, D.M.D., Robert W. Herman, D.M.D., Debra George, D.M.D., Nina Giambro, D.D.S., Christopher Trailer, D.M.D., Glenn Harris, D.M.D., Helene F. Schaeffer, D.D.S., Richard J. McNulty,D.M.D., Sharam Karimi, D.M.D., Sanford Nadelstein, D.D.S., Barry Resnick, D.D.S., Steven Nagy, D.M.D., Elliot Kronstein, D.D.S., Sonya M. Stevens, M.D., Barbara Krause, M.D., Karen Williams, M.D., Henry Neider, M.D., Gerry Yukevich, M.D., Julia Stunkel, M.D., John Lamb, M.D., David A. Kolb, M.D., Pieter Pil, M.D., Ph.D., Beth Donnelly, M.D., Elizabeth Finnegan, M.D., Hugh F. Harwood, M.D., Ben Thomas, M.D., Judy Jones, D.P.N., FNR-BC, Marion Santos, M.S.N., R.N., Sarah Kuh, M.P.H., director, Vineyard Health Care Access/Vineyard Smiles, Michaeleen Cook, R.D.H., Donna Vought, R.D.H., Denise Schepici, president/CEO Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Louis W. Sullivan, M.D., former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dukes County Health Council