Juneau residents should encourage the Assembly to stop fluoridating our city's water supply for several reasons. First of all, less than 1 percent of tap water is actually consumed, sending much more fluoride into our sewers, septic tanks and eventually waterways than necessary. Second, many health-conscious citizens refuse to drink tap water because of the chemical additives and feel compelled to buy bottled water at considerable expense. Besides the cost, the booming bottled water industry has created a huge amount of packaging waste. Third, in addition to human health risks, studies have shown that fluoride in low concentrations is toxic to fish, including salmon.
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I propose a few common-sense alternatives to deliver fluoride to those who need and want it: 1) Return to the days of the Dixie cup and swishing in schools (remember those?); 2) Add fluoride to some bottled water so those who want it can buy it (business opportunity!); 3) Use fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash (brush your teeth!); and 4) Install fluoride-adding drinking fountains (well-labeled, of course).
We have wonderful, pure water available here in Juneau; why muck it up by adding fluoride? If tap water was safer, more people would drink more of it, making us all healthier and happier.