Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville City Council debates fluoride

BROOKSVILLE — In what has become a much-talked-about issue lately in Brooksville, advocates on both sides of the subject of communitywide fluoridation lined up Tuesday to debate the issue at a Brooksville City Council information workshop.

The hot-button issue is likely to come again before the council over the next few months.

The Hernando County Health Department, which favors a return of fluoridation, invited a team of dental health care professionals to speak in favor of the practice.

Pasco pediatric dentist Dr. Johnny Johnson, who successfully fought to return the practice of fluoridation to Pinellas County in 2012, said it is "the only magic bullet we have" when it comes to mass preventive dental care.

Johnson said he has never seen any credible evidence that the chemical is toxic to humans.

Hernando County senior dentist Dr. Pedro Lense said that adding fluoride to public water offers benefits that cut across economic lines, and especially helps those who are least apt to receive regular dental care.

"The folks I see are the ones who need the most work," said Lense, who added that the relatively small cost of fluoridation far outweighs the cost that taxpayers pay to fill cavities in untreated teeth.

Mayor Lara Bradburn, who was able to persuade her fellow council colleagues to halt the practice at a 2011 budget hearing, once again led the call to keep fluoride out of the city's water supply.

"I'm not a scientist and I'm not a medical professional, but I've read a lot of research and I'm convinced that this chemical doesn't belong in our water supply," Bradburn said.

Bradburn quoted from the more than 50 studies that indicated fluoride as a known cause of diseases, birth defects and other maladies, and extensively quoted a 2006 report by a committee of the National Research Council that recommended that the federal government lower its current limit for fluoride in drinking water because of health risks.

"This is not myth," Bradburn said. "The (dental) industry will not admit that this is a dangerous chemical we're giving to our citizens."

Bradburn's words were often met with shaking heads from the nearly one dozen fluoride proponents who showed up.

However, Bradburn had her share of supporters, including Spring Hill resident Barbara Bartlett, who claimed that her two sons had suffered mental lapses due to long-term consumption of fluoridated water.

"There's no need for everyone to have to suffer," she said.

Council member Joe Bernardini said that he might be a stronger supporter of fluoridation if there was a feasible way for the public to have a choice.

"If someone doesn't want it in their water, they should have a way to remove it," Bernardini said. "So far, no one has shown me an affordable way that it can be done."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Brooksville City Council debates fluoride 05/21/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 10:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Loggerhead sea turtle found in Islamorada resident's pool

    Wildlife

    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on Monday, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys.

    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on June 22, 2017, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys. [Photo from video]

  2. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. She doesn't care if you accept her, as long as you respect her

    Human Interest

    Mary Jane Taylor finds strength walking quietly among the dead.

    Mary Jane Taylor,18, visits Oaklawn Cemetery in downtown Tampa when she is feeling low. "When I hit my low points in life I go the the graveyard," she says. "people are afraid of the graveyard. I love the graveyard." The transgender teen recently graduated from Jefferson High School. She is  enrolled in summer classes at Santa Fe College in Gainesville studying international business. She plans to transfer to the University of Florida, attend law school and become a civil rights lawyer. (JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   Times)
  5. Few new details in state investigation of Tarpon Springs officer-involved shooting of Nick Provenza

    Public Safety

    TARPON SPRINGS — An investigative report, released this week by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, into the officer-involved shooting that killed 25-year-old Nick Provenza included largely the same narrative prosecutors released this month that ruled the shooting a "justifiable homicide."

    Stopping while riding by on his bike Michael Prater, 15, hangs his head after looking at the memorial at Safford and Tarpon avenues for Nick Provenza, a 25-year-old who was shot and killed there during a car show Saturday by a Tarpon Springs police officer. Investigators said Provenza pulled a knife on the cop who shot him. Friends find it hard to believe a man they described as a peaceful vegan and musician would be capable of such an act. Prater didn't know the victim but was at the car show.