Opinion

Asking about fluoride seems like a silly survey

Remember the catchphrase “Survey says!” from the TV game show “Family Feud?”

Well, a survey in Port Orchard should say a resounding “no way” on the question of whether to end fluoridation of the municipal water system.

This innocuous survey is unnecessary. The City Council didn’t need to agree to it just because somebody’s trying to yank their chain on this non-issue.

Paranoia runs deep with these somebodies, who claim fluoride causes serious health problems, and whose theories might fairly be described as crackpot.

There are some real issues with the city water supply that need prompt and effective action, such as figuring out what makes some households’ water dirty and unpalatable, and determing the fairest way to implement rate increases to pay for needed upgrades in the water system.

But fluoride, according to longtime local dentist Dr. Bruce Yoder and virtually everyone in his profession, is a beneficial additive to domestic water because it helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. This can be especially helpful for children in poor families who don’t get regular dental care.

And it’s safe.

As Yoder told the council members last week when they discussed the topic, “I think you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone involved in valid research to say that there’s a danger in optimally fluoridated water.”

The council members, though, may sense a hint of political danger in not at least acting like they take these fringe concerns seriously. Perhaps there’s a little lingering unease after that tempest in a teapot a few weeks ago over not referring the code city change to a public vote.

But when this survey finds no support for an impractical idea, there is an option for anyone who fears fluoride in their drinking water. They can move to Bremerton, one of the minority of cities where water isn’t fluoridated.

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