November 23, 2015
Community water fluoridation continues to be a hot-button issue in towns across Colorado. Recently, Snowmass and Hayden celebrated fluoridation victories. Montrose and Durango continue to educate their communities about the safety and effectiveness of this public health benefit.
The Snowmass Water and Sanitation District board decided in the summer to discontinue community water fluoridation. Because of pushback from the community, the board decided to review the decision before implementing the process. Snowmass dentist Dr. Karina Redko led the effort in support of water fluoridation. The board surveyed its customers, who voted in favor of continued water fluoridation. Based on this vote, the board reversed its decision in October and reinstated community water fluoridation immediately.
The mountain town of Hayden, west of Steamboat Springs, made this issue a ballot question in the November election. After a robust campaign effort to educate Hayden residents about the benefits of water fluoridation, residents handily voted in favor of continuing to fluoridate the community’s water supply.
The Montrose Project 7 Water Authority removed fluoride from the community’s water supply—without the consent of its residents. Citing that they did not want to use a Chinese-made product, the health department found a Belgium-made product for the town to use instead. Pending independent testing of that new product, the board will reconsider adding fluoride to the water. Montrose dentist Dr. Sharlene Martinson has been leading the pro-fluoride effort in the town.
Durango is the latest town to consider discontinuing community water fluoridation, doing so just before the Animas River mining spill. The CDA will rally its advocates once again to lead the effort to educate the Durango utility commission and residents about the importance of fluoride in their drinking water.
The CDA remains committed to fluoridation as a critical public health benefit and a critical part of the association’s commitment to improving access to oral healthcare in the state. If your community is questing community water fluoridation practices or has questions, contact Molly Pereira at the CDA at 303-996-2844 or email@example.com.