Council members seeking compromise on fluoride

The addition of fluoride to Seward’s water  supply was not imminent since we had no cost estimates or engineering, but the issue has arisen due to the election. Fluoride has proponents and opponents, both very passionate about their positions on the issue. To me it is not about who is right or who is wrong.  It really boils down to what is right for the community as a whole.

Council member Jean Bardarson and I are seeking a compromise where there will be NO FLUORIDE added to the city’s water supply, but where people desiring fluoride will be able to access it. We hope to get support from the rest of the members of council.



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Politics these days seems to thrive on divisiveness and polarization. Seward doesn’t have to be that way. It is a great community with great people and we have many more important issues to work towards together. Thank you.

Marianna Keil

34 Comments

  1. Well said Maryann. Your last paragraph is right on. Lets work together to make Seward a great place to live.
    Thank you and Jean for all you do for Seward.

    • I think the proposal as described in the article looks like a great thing. I think giving people the choice to pursue their health care in the manner they think is appropriate is a win for everyone. Thanks to everyone for trying to come together on this. Seward is indeed one of the nicest places I’ve ever lived, and it’s because of the people.

  2. Sounds sensible to me too. That would be great.

  3. This is really not a compromise. It is very common for those who oppose community water fluoridation (CWF) to propose “alternatives.” But there simply are no effective alternatives to the public health intervention the CDC considers one of the great accomplishments of the 20th century.

    For example, no school based program will reach the preschoolers and achieve the most compelling of CWF’s benefits.

    A huge Louisiana Medicaid study which found 2/3rds of the operations (root canals, stainless steel crowns) preschoolers are avoided with CWF

    see: Water Fluoridation & Costs of Medicaid Treatment for Dental Decay. MMWR. CDC 09/03/99

    In the Louisiana study 50% of the dental bills for the kids studied were avoided. If this were the only benefit 150% CWF returns in lower dental bills

    Under anesthesia procedures include extractions root canals & stainless steel crowns & cost up to $15,000 & happen more often in Seward without CWF.

    This is an important Social Justice issue. The economic benefits will allow Alaska’s Medicaid plan to buy more health care for poor kids. There are no effective alternatives. Seward just needs to do the right thing for the community’s better oral health, especially the children.

    • “This is really not a comprimise.” Seriously dude? If you want to fight until the last man standing, you should at least post your name.

      Our country is in deep doo-doo because our “leaders” have abandoned negotiation and comprimise. I am glad that not everyone has forgotten this important concept.

      As was so well stated above:”…what is right for the community as a whole.”

      BRAVO!

      (and yes-Brent is my real name).

    • What isn’t a compromise in Mariannas proposal? You can do with your body what you wish, I can do with mine as I wish…I wish no poison called flouride be put in my body…the one study you quote does not even begin to speak of science, and then the issue is muddied by social justice? You quote that under anesthesia procedures happen more often in Seward without CWF…then where?? What are your statistics please? Which study do you “quote” from?
      What social justice is proposed here? That the cost of medicaid is foisted to the people of the city of Seward in the attempt to introduce a potentially toxic substance into our water system at AN UNKNOWN COST. Wake up here…there has been NO COST ESTIMATE for us ever, for this proposal, to flouridate the water in this town. How much will this cost us? both for the infrastructure, the long term maintenance of the system, extra cost for training of personnel and the potential costs of lawsuit for medicating without consent.
      There are far too many unanswered questions yet, to determine if this is the right course for out community or not. I sincerely submit…a concerned citizen

  4. You do realize you aren’t meant to swallow fluoride, right?

    Why do you think the dentist is so adamant that you spit out your fluoride treatment rather than swallow it? Why do you spit out your toothpaste rather than swallow that?

    How about we skip flouridating our water and brush our childrens’ teeth instead?

    It’s likely that the results from the study in Lousiana represent skewed data. The data would appear to be more dramatic if parents were less likely to care for their childrens’ teeth using other methods, whether because there was lack of education on proper hygeine, or whether, as one of the poorest states in the union, they were simply unable to afford to buy fluoridated toothpaste. (Just an aside, food stamps do not cover the cost of household items like toothpaste.) Both of these are reasonable assumptions to make.

    Don’t be fooled. We can make statistics say anything we like, and it’s important to be skeptical when considering whether they are valuable or not.

  5. I can’t take your comments seriously if you do not enter your real name. i encourage you to be open in your comments if you truly believe in them billy budd. unless that is your real name, and in that case AWESOME, i loved that story.

  6. how are folks at math?

    If a 226 gram tube of Crest Complete Multi-benefit toothpaste contains 0.243% fluoride, and if 2 grams of fluoride is considered (by poison control experts)to be a minium lethal dose for adults, how much tooth paste would someone have to consume for it to be fatal?

    Let’s remember to keep things in perspective.

    • The only fatality from fluoride toothpaste in the poison control data bank I could find was an adult who committed suicide, presumably from the prescription strength (5000 ppm)stuff.

      Sort of bottom line perspective setting.

  7. Y’all need to worry about the message, not the messenger.

    Alaska has a dedicated State Dental Office, Bradley Whistler, DDS. The City Council should consult with local, regional and if necessary national experts in oral public health to answer any questions and concerns that may exist about community water fluoridation.

    I suppose it would be too much to ask for you to actually read the Louisiana study about the little preschool kids avoiding operations I cited rather than just go off the handle in anger.

    The truth is that the oral health of your community, especially the children’s will be effected by this decision.

    The wisdom of former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop is apropos : “Fluoridation is the single most important commitment a community can make to its children and to future generations.”

  8. Brent if my math is correct you would need to eat 4 tubes of Crest to be fatal.

  9. 3.70 to be exact, but no reason to waste that last tube.

  10. ~in a small town... says:

    Well, pretty soon some advocates will suggest toothpaste be
    mandatory – and – be available only by standard RX prescription.

    That way you can keep the sacred cows of medical insurance
    and retail pricing of items that could be less costly, firmly in the
    hands of corporate-owned legislation and business predation.

    Of course nothing will be perfect at first, those who suggest the
    system is not workable do not have to participate; they can use
    those saved up conservative values and revert to using the all-
    natural tree roots as tooth brushes, & found stuff as they see fit.

    And there are so many things in that mouth rinse, the makers
    suggest to not swallow any of it. And to be sure that all of the
    tooth paste is somehow rinsed out of ones mouth before use.

    {There are so many fish to fry in this topic we could all set a big
    net & throw a banquet. However, no fish or nets will be allowed.}

    How about the good effects of chlorinated water? How about
    adding caffeine, too. Add artificial sweetener and the city could
    sell monthly subscriptions to the slower folks who’d want a fix.
    We let kids buy those energy drinks, why not add a tiny bit of
    fluoride to give them a sparkly smile as they jolt & jump around?

    Why worry? The whole game is rigged and our warranty is way short… :)

    ~in a small town…
    kenai mountains, alaska

  11. Brent if my math is correct it takes more than one cigarette to kill you, and you don’t have to smoke them all at once. Billy budd from the way you write your message, (The truth is that the oral health of your community) I don’t believe you live in this community, but without your real name i guess we will never know.

    • The same can be said for alcohol, high fat foods, food and drinks laden with sugar,etc. The list could go on, and on, and on.

      For those who don’t follow national news, New York City just banned soft drinks in a cup greater than 16 ounces from being served at restaurants, cafeterias and concessions stands.

      • I agree that the same can be said for any of these items. That’s why we aren’t forced to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or eat high fat or sugary foods.

        Fluoridation of water removes the choice of the individual NOT to expose themselves to a toxic chemical.

  12. Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

    • Really???

      I thought it was vodka. Vodka (and other distilled substances)kills a heck of a lot more people every year than fluoride does.

      Look back a few posts to see how many people died of fluoride poisoning over the past few years.

      Now google alcohol related deaths.

    • Riley, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure grain alcohol?

    • Do YOU realize that both the Germans and Soviet’s used water fluoridation in their Labor Camps and Gulags respectively, to help improve the dentition of their ‘guests’?

      …it’s all about the love, isn’t it?

      They also found Fluoride to have the added pleasant side effects of making their guests more manageable and compliant.

  13. Justine Pechuzal says:

    Thank you Marianna for a level-headed, and moderate response to the fluoride issue. You have my support for this plan.

  14. Hey guys, the poisonous aspect of fluorine is but one concern. For something to be dangerous, doesn’t mean it has to kill you. But it can be detrimental(and is) over a long period of time.
    Paul Connett has stated on many occasions that Fluoride is not the #1 health crisis on the list today, but it is a real problem. The key point here is that it is one of the easiest to remedy. Just turn the bloody stuff off at the Treatment Plant!

  15. I agree with justine in support for a compromise, just as long as it is in writing. The last time i was involved in a work session to compromise with the city their end of the bargain was not upheld. Thank you Marianna for trying to help resolve this issue. Russ the only facts that I am concerned with (which can not be disputed) are that these companies are completely unregulated. They create their own standards. And we asked them for specific info concerning these standards, a list of ingredients and assurance that they follow the law. Not a single company has responded. I am asking why? One other thing I am concerned with is if my child gets sick or gets dental flourosis who is responsible. Treating these problems are very expensive. I have young children, which is why I am so concerned with the following facts. The ADA states in their own publications that the recommended amount of fluoride for infants and toddlers is 0 percent. And Brent if you wish to be insulting and insinuate that we are to dumb to understand this issue because we disagree with you please be brave enough to put your last name.

    • Well said Matt. Keep up the good work and awareness.

      The bottom line for me here in Australia is, why do i have to spend so much time and money(water tanks, filter systems, carting water where ever i go, etc..)on clean non fluoridated water when we weren’t consulted on the move? It is totally unconstitutional, and medically illegal, yet people should have the choice to use it if they wish.(democracy)
      With the present situation we have very little choice NOT to use it. Especially those on low income.

  16. So does anyone out there have a system of filtration thats relatively affordable, and highly effective for eradicating Fluoride? What about the other contaminants that have been present in our water for decades? The NSA found sewage in my water in 1984. I bought a whole house filter. My baby’s colic disappeared immediately. I had been mixing her formula with tap water.
    Obviously the government is not going to “clean it up” now, they’re broke anyway, right?