Fairbanks panel hears water fluoride testimony

Posted: Thursday, March 18, 2010

FAIRBANKS - A committee reviewing whether fluoride should remain in the Fairbanks water supply heard arguments from both sides of the debate.

The city has been putting fluoride in the water for a half-century, but critics worry about its long-term health effects.

The Alaska Dental Society and Fluoride-Free Fairbanks each made presentations Tuesday to a panel of scientists and medical professionals who volunteered to make a recommendation to city leaders.

Dentists Jim Cerney, John Woller and Heather Willis promoted fluoride as a safe way to get the enamel-hardening substance to the community. They cited a Colorado study showing fluoridated communities collectively saved $150 million in dental costs.

But Douglas Yates and dentist Craig O'Donoghue of Fluoride-Free Fairbanks say there is no proof fluoridation has improved dental health.

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