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Fight over fluoride heating up in Schuylkill County

Fight over fluoride heating up in Schuylkill County

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. - Officials in a Schuylkill County borough are divided on whether to add fluoride to the water supply.

It's an issue brewing in Schuylkill Haven.

Borough officials say fluoride was added to the water from 1967 until 2010, when it was stopped because of possible health concerns related to fluoridation.

There is now talk of adding it again and it's an idea that doesn't sit well with some people.

"We've only had one family that's come as a pro fluoride. Everything has been, 'do not add it back.' We've had petitions presented to council," said council member Jerry Bowman, who is against adding fluoride to the water.

The council voted several months ago to once again start adding fluoride, but Bowman said that hasn't happened yet.

During Wednesday's borough council meeting, Bowman said the council voted to delay the process of applying for a DEP permit until January. He hopes council will have another chance to vote on the fluoride issue.

The water not only goes to Schuylkill Haven residents, but people in Cressona and North Manheim Township.

Schuylkill Haven resident Norman Fisher said, "It don't bother me at all. We had it before so you can't tell the difference, I can't, without it."

"We continue to see a mounting case of evidence that fluoride is harmful to the body when it's ingested," said Bowman. "When you start ingesting fluoride and especially when you start ingesting fluoride because you don't want to do it, it's in your water supply and you must do it because you have to use the water, I think that's not a wise thing for us to do as a borough."  

Council president Marlin Berger told 69 News he supports adding fluoride and thinks it's helpful, especially for children. He said his adult children never had cavities.

Bowman said, "Council is divided on it, there's no doubt about that, but the community, I  really haven't heard a lot of pro fluoride comments out in the community."

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