Officials in one Southern Indiana town consider removing fluoride from water
ELIZABETH, Ind. (WDRB) -- A decades old debate has resurfaced in Elizabeth, Indiana. Some town leaders want to stop using fluoride in the water.
“My personal opinion, which I'm not afraid to express publicly, is I think it would be a good idea to remove fluoride from our public water supply system,” said Hugh Burns, Elizabeth Clerk-Treasurer.
Burns says the Town of Elizabeth Municipal Water serves 1,500 households, including Horseshoe Casino. He worries about the long-term effects fluoride can have on internal organs.
“The evidence that you can find once you start reading about it is extremely interesting to say the least,” Burns said.
So far, he believes most residents are on his side.
“Up to this point, comments expressed publicly have been about 70 percent in favor of doing away with fluoride with about 30 percent being opposed to it,” said Burns.
Diana McKnight is a part of that 30 percent.
“I don't think taking the fluoride out of the water is going to help or hurt anybody,” said McKnight. “In fact it helps more.”
Tony Combs with the Harrison County Health Department agrees.
“There have been decades and decades of research by scientists and medical professionals, that there are no detrimental effects only beneficial effects,” said Combs.
He says those benefits include solidifying and calcifying enamel on teeth, and with no state laws on regulating fluoride the health department has no real control.
“A municipal entity can choose not to do that," Combs said. "We're just not sure why anyone would choose not to do that.”
In Elizabeth, it's up to a three person town council But, Burns predicts the decision will take time.
"I wouldn't foresee the town council making such an important decision without taking some serious consideration and weighing all the evidence and facts," he said.
The next town council meeting is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 17, 2015.
Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All rights reserved.