City officials agreed to end water fluoridation in a New Jersey town after the mayor spoke out against the practice.
“The township will end its mass medication of the public by ending the use of fluoride in the water system,” said David Stahl, mayor of East Brunswick, last month during his state of the township address.
The Republican Stahl said he had “read much data on the pros and cons of putting fluoride in our water system,” saying that the cavity-fighting mineral is more widely available than when it was introduced nearly 60 years ago to the town’s water system, reported the Courier News.
“Today there are many other options,” the mayor said. “In addition, so many people are choosing to drink bottled water rather than tap. I just believe it’s the time to end this.”
The town’s Water Policy Advisory Committee voted 6-1 shortly after the mayor’s speech to recommend the practice should continue, but city officials decided to end the practice.
The township spends about $70,000 a year to add fluoride to its drinking water, and it’s one of the few communities in Middlesex County to do so.
Fewer than 20 percent of New Jersey residents have access to fluoridated water, which physicians and other medical professionals say promotes strong tooth enamel in children and prevents tooth decay.
The chemical occurs naturally in all ground and surface water, but it is sometimes added when natural levels fall below the recommended 0.7 parts per million.
Too much fluoride can be dangerous, and water fluoridation has been controversial since the practice began in the mid-20th Century and continues to be the subject of conspiracy theories.
Watch the mayor’s speech posted online by EBTV: