Wilmington council hears citizens’ thoughts on fluoridation


Residents, health pros provide input

By Nathan Kraatz - [email protected]



Many people attended the public hearing on community water fluoridation Thursday at Wilmington council’s meeting. The hearing was held to gather community input while the city’s water committee considers whether to fluoridate the water.


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Levi Hamilton, a local dentist, answered many questions about fluoride. “We’re seeing lots of decay on little children, lots and lots of decay,” Hamilton said, adding that filling cavities costs between $60 and $120 per cavity. “Three dollars per person is a lot less than filling those cavities.”


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Cheryl Ford said her children have dental fluorosis after being bottle-fed with fluoridated water and her 23-year-old daughter has thyroid issues now. “I’m here as a cautionary tale,” Ford said. “We also need to balance and take a look at other options, too.”


Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Council also:

• Passed, in a 5-1 vote with council member Lonnie Stuckert dissenting and council member Joe Spicer absent, a repeal of the G-1 Gateway Zoning ordinance. Spicer previously voted against the ordinance’s repeal.

• Received a $5,000 gift from a veteran through the American Legion Post 49 to repair bridges at the now city-owned Sugar Grove Cemetery. “We cannot thank them enough,” said Jonathan McKay, chair of the cemetery committee. Jim Cook, post commander, said the veteran did not want to be recognized. Jonathan McKay said the bridges will hopefully be open by Memorial Day, but Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth said the repairs would be weather-dependent, adding that doing work in bad weather could collapse the bridges.

• Was presented a corporate partner award by Amanda Harris, of Clinton County’s United Way. All city council members donate to United Way.

• Approved in three readings, a resolution authorizing agents designated by the mayor to participate in cooperative and joint purchasing programs.

• Approved in three readings, an ordinance amending the amount of time a landowner has to remove litter from his or her yard after being given notice by a code enforcement official from 20 days to 5 days. Stanforth has been acting as a code enforcement official for several weeks.

• Accepted $2,698 in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice to pay about half the cost of bullet proof vests for about a quarter of the city’s police officers, according to Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand.

• Authorized Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker to enter an agreement with Union Township to provide the township surrounding Wilmington with fire and emergency medical services from 2016 to 2021. The contract continues coverage that is currently provided.

• Authorized Wilmington Fire Chief Andy Mason to apply for a grant with Nationwide Insurance for a grain bin rescue tube device and training and another with Walmart for $2,500 to purchase rope rescue equipment.

• Received a monthly income tax report that showed the city has collected $2,475,736.94 in income taxes this year, an increase of less than 20 percent over last year’s collections from January to April. Wilmington Auditor David Hollingsworth said the state changes to the way income taxes are received could potentially have inflated the earlier receipts of the year.

WILMINGTON — A public hearing on whether or not to fluoridate the city’s water was met with a packed room at Thursday night’s meeting of Wilmington council.

Since March, the water committee of council has been discussing whether to fluoridate water to 0.8 to 1.3 parts per million. The public hearing was scheduled to solicit community input.

“Our committee’s goal was to hear as much as we could from the community,” said Kelsey Swindler. Swindler previously told the News Journal she hopes the input will guide the water committee whether to move for fluoridation of the city water supply.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the water committee is June 2 at 6 p.m.

At the hearing, all the medical professionals in attendance spoke in favor of fluoridating water, while residents spoke both in favor of or against the practice.

“The less fluoride, the better, and let the medical professionals diagnose individuals individually and decide whether or not the individuals receive fluoride,” said Joe Gigandet, president of the Clinton County Tea Party.

Gigandet said the fluoride could be prescribed “as a one size fits all … without full consent” that would cost residents.

“I know people are fearful,” said local dentist Levi Hamilton. “The 0.7 to 0.8 (ppm) range, if that’s what we’re hitting, it’s equivalent to about 1 penny in about $14,000, one inch in 23 miles or one minute in a thousand days. These are very low levels of fluoride.”

Hamilton said the American Dental Association, which endorses the use of water fluoridation, has found no documented cases of skin allergy as a result of public water fluoridation.

He also said boiling water doesn’t remove fluoride from it.

Hamilton said water fluoridation has been shown to decrease the rate of tooth decay by 20 to 30 percent in communities it’s introduced into.

“You’re going to spend a lot less and save a lot more if you fluoridate the water and aren’t paying to do those fillings and cavities through our state-run insurances,” Hamilton said of the cost of fluoridating. “It’s a no-brainer there.”

Due to background fluoridation in chicken nuggets, for example, Hamilton said people are currently exposed to fluoridation, “But virtually nobody is getting up to the recommended level of fluoride that you’re supposed to get.”

Vincent Larson, a Wilmington resident, asked who regulates the chemicals to ensure their quality and if they were a byproduct of fertilizer.

Joe Rae, chief operator at the Wilmington water plant, said all the additives the plant uses are approved by the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Shawn Swick, an internal medicine doctor, said the fluoride is bound to phosphorous in rocks before it is extracted. The phosphorous is sometimes used to create fertilizer.

“So, we’re not using byproducts of fertilizer to make the fluoride, rather it’s the other way,” Swick said.

Hamilton said water fluoridation affects a person’s tooth structure where topical products, like toothpastes, don’t. Ingestible supplements, he said, cost more than water fluoridation.

Wilmington resident Laura Struve said her pediatrician recommended using such supplements. She said the bottles cost $11 for a two-month supply for one child.

“It’s a five-minute hassle every day” to give them to her children, Struve said. “It’s over $100 out of my pocket every year that if I lived in Lebanon, I wouldn’t have to worry about.”

Wilmington resident Libby Rae and former water committee and council member David Hockaday asked about the effects of fluoridated water on those possibly susceptible to it.

Rae asked about those suffering from fluorosis and how fluoridating water might affect them. Hamilton said if they’re being treated for fluorosis they shouldn’t drink the city’s water anyway as it has a natural fluoride level of 0.2 ppm. Instead, they should drink distilled water or follow their doctor’s recommendations.

Dr. Terry Holton, the medical director of the Clinton County Department of Health, said skeletal fluorosis, a bone disease that can cause pain and damage to bones and joints, is much less common than dental fluorosis, which is staining of the teeth.

Skeletal fluorosis “is very uncommon compared to dental cavities, which are very common,” Holton said. “There are always risks and benefits, but basically by putting in the fluoride you’re trading a huge decrease in the amount of cavities for a slight increase in dental fluorosis.”

Hockaday said he agreed fluoridation would help children but was concerned about the effects to other residents, including those who have thyroid issues like himself.

“There is an accumulation effect that takes place,” Hockaday said. “Whether it’s toxic or not that’s another question.”

Hamilton said those affected by thyroid issues should be taken off of the local water supply currently, due to the natural fluoride level.

Dr. Ruth Dooley, a pediatrician, said studies showing negative thyroid or intellect effects were poorly done and unreliable.

“None of those have been proven, so there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” Dooley said.

Wilmington resident Cheryl Ford said her children were bottle fed on fluoridated water and have dental fluorosis, and her daughter, at 23 years of age, has thyroid issues now.

“I’m here as a cautionary tale,” Ford said. “You’re going to have a lot of parents out there … they may go directly to the bottle” and their children may get dental fluorosis. “We also need to balance and take a look at the other options, too.”

Wilmington resident Vince Holmes cited a Yellow Springs News article about the Yellow Springs council’s 3-1 vote to discontinue water fluoridation.

That report, found by the News Journal, quoted village council members saying there was no “hard evidence” of beneficent effects of fluoridation and a lack of research on the effects of fluoride on the rest of the body.

Holmes also asked if fluoridation would become a ballot issue.

Swindler said she preferred a publicly voted ballot measure rather than a council action.

The committee could recommend council vote on the measure, or it could recommend council place the measure on a ballot.

Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.

Many people attended the public hearing on community water fluoridation Thursday at Wilmington council’s meeting. The hearing was held to gather community input while the city’s water committee considers whether to fluoridate the water.
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_DSC_0306.jpgMany people attended the public hearing on community water fluoridation Thursday at Wilmington council’s meeting. The hearing was held to gather community input while the city’s water committee considers whether to fluoridate the water. Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Levi Hamilton, a local dentist, answered many questions about fluoride. “We’re seeing lots of decay on little children, lots and lots of decay,” Hamilton said, adding that filling cavities costs between $60 and $120 per cavity. “Three dollars per person is a lot less than filling those cavities.”
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_DSC_0313.jpgLevi Hamilton, a local dentist, answered many questions about fluoride. “We’re seeing lots of decay on little children, lots and lots of decay,” Hamilton said, adding that filling cavities costs between $60 and $120 per cavity. “Three dollars per person is a lot less than filling those cavities.” Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal

Cheryl Ford said her children have dental fluorosis after being bottle-fed with fluoridated water and her 23-year-old daughter has thyroid issues now. “I’m here as a cautionary tale,” Ford said. “We also need to balance and take a look at other options, too.”
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_DSC_0317.jpgCheryl Ford said her children have dental fluorosis after being bottle-fed with fluoridated water and her 23-year-old daughter has thyroid issues now. “I’m here as a cautionary tale,” Ford said. “We also need to balance and take a look at other options, too.” Nathan Kraatz | Wilmington News Journal
Residents, health pros provide input

By Nathan Kraatz

[email protected]

Council also:

• Passed, in a 5-1 vote with council member Lonnie Stuckert dissenting and council member Joe Spicer absent, a repeal of the G-1 Gateway Zoning ordinance. Spicer previously voted against the ordinance’s repeal.

• Received a $5,000 gift from a veteran through the American Legion Post 49 to repair bridges at the now city-owned Sugar Grove Cemetery. “We cannot thank them enough,” said Jonathan McKay, chair of the cemetery committee. Jim Cook, post commander, said the veteran did not want to be recognized. Jonathan McKay said the bridges will hopefully be open by Memorial Day, but Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth said the repairs would be weather-dependent, adding that doing work in bad weather could collapse the bridges.

• Was presented a corporate partner award by Amanda Harris, of Clinton County’s United Way. All city council members donate to United Way.

• Approved in three readings, a resolution authorizing agents designated by the mayor to participate in cooperative and joint purchasing programs.

• Approved in three readings, an ordinance amending the amount of time a landowner has to remove litter from his or her yard after being given notice by a code enforcement official from 20 days to 5 days. Stanforth has been acting as a code enforcement official for several weeks.

• Accepted $2,698 in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice to pay about half the cost of bullet proof vests for about a quarter of the city’s police officers, according to Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand.

• Authorized Wilmington Safety and Service Director Brian Shidaker to enter an agreement with Union Township to provide the township surrounding Wilmington with fire and emergency medical services from 2016 to 2021. The contract continues coverage that is currently provided.

• Authorized Wilmington Fire Chief Andy Mason to apply for a grant with Nationwide Insurance for a grain bin rescue tube device and training and another with Walmart for $2,500 to purchase rope rescue equipment.

• Received a monthly income tax report that showed the city has collected $2,475,736.94 in income taxes this year, an increase of less than 20 percent over last year’s collections from January to April. Wilmington Auditor David Hollingsworth said the state changes to the way income taxes are received could potentially have inflated the earlier receipts of the year.

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