From The Durango Herald (Peter Marcus):
Jim Forleo, a Durango chiropractor who has been leading local efforts to eliminate fluoride use in water, said he hopes to encourage city officials to take a fresh look, given new guidance and studies.
“They haven’t done the research; they haven’t looked,” Forleo said of governments that support fluoride in drinking water. “They’re just kind of following the same route from others that have preceded them.”
The city’s Utilities Commission will consider Forleo’s proposal at a meeting as early as the end of the month. It will be the first time the commission tackles the issue in about a decade, according to members of the group. What’s discussed could lead to City Council action.
“What is the right amount of fluoride? Nobody’s coming out and telling you exactly what that is,” said Steve Salka, utilities director for the city. “We need to be smart about what we do. Have we given the public too much? We’re doing the right thing by making sure that our Utilities Commission is going to readdress this.”
The city lowered its fluoride dosing from 0.9 milligrams per liter to 0.7 milligrams per liter May 6. Officials responded to federal health regulators, who in April changed the national fluoride standard for the first time in more than 50 years. The standard dropped from a range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter, to a set concentration of 0.7 milligrams per liter. Officials say 0.7 milligrams per liter is like a drop of fluoride in a 55-gallon drum.
Colorado health officials also updated their recommendations on the subject to reflect a maximum concentration of 0.7 milligrams per liter, acknowledging that people receive fluoride from a number of sources these days, including toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride is also naturally occurring in some water systems, including in La Plata County.