Tecumseh Puts Fluoride Decision on Hold
The question of whether or not to reintroduce fluoride to the water in Tecumseh is on hold.
Council voted unanimously to defer the issue at Tuesday night's meeting until they receive legal opinions from the City of Windsor, Enwin Utilities and a decision from Lakeshore Town Council. Windsor voted of 8-3 in favour of reintroducing fluoride to the water in December of 2018 — fluoride was removed in 2013 and a report from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit shows overall oral-health in the region has been on a decline since.
A small quantity of Lakeshore residents are serviced by Tecumseh, opening the question of what, if any impact that will have on a decision to reintroduce fluoride to the water.
"Realistically it's less than 50 customers ... does that derail 80,000 households, for that matter, 100,000 households? We don't know." says Mayor Gary McNamara who goes on to say the science behind the move is sound, but the town still has to make sure everything is legally sound. "So here we are, waiting to get those responses back from legal and once that's done we'll move forward."
He says the delay won't change his trust in the health unit — that has compiled a mountain of research point to water fluoridation a safe method of promoting oral health.
The report submitted to council says the decision is a, "matter best addressed by health care professionals."
McNamara says council relies on in-house experts to help develop infrastructure and services, when they defer to medical professionals who are in support of fluoridation, it's something he thinks council will get behind.
"Through thousands of pieces of peer reviewed science the evidence is compelling and looking at the reports that have been presented here through the [Windsor-Essex County Health Unit]'s Medical Officer of Health," says McNamara. "At the end of the day you've got to look at the science and base your decision on facts and not on fear mongering and science that's not peer reviewed."
An updated report will have to wait on legal opinions from LaSalle, Lakeshore, and Windsor that should be presented at a city council meeting March 4.
Two of three municipalities need to agree to the change before it can be carried out — neither Tecumseh or LaSalle have made a decision.