Longmont stops fluoridation in light of global fluoride shortage – Longmont Times-Call
Longmont has fluoridated its water supply since 1958, but due to the last sodium fluoride mine in the country, which ceased operations that year, supplies have been restricted throughout the front area, causing Longmont to deplete its reserves.
“We haven’t fluoridated in about a month,” said Bob Allen, the city’s public works and natural resources manager. “The water supply contains fluoride from natural sources, but it has not been fluoridated to the recommended level of 0.7 mg / L since we were exhausted.”
Without the addition of fluoride, Longmont naturally has 0.2 mg / l fluoride in its water supply.
The effectiveness of adding a chemical like fluoride to water systems has recently received some scrutiny due to the increased use of fluoride by oral health products like toothpaste and mouthwash. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention even lowered the recommended fluoridation level from 1.2 to 0.7 mg / L in 2013, but that didn’t make Longmont City Council change its policy.
“The benefits outweigh the negatives,” said Mayor Brian Bagley. “So there was no discussion about stopping fluoridation.”
Currently, the city pays around $ 40,000 a year for the chemicals and labor to apply them to the water system.
Jim Kaufman, the city’s water treatment manager, said China has a steady supply of fluoride. However, in the past he has questioned the quality and is waiting for the test results from Denver Water before using it in Longmont’s system.
The city could also switch equipment to a liquid-based system like the one used by the city of Boulder, but that would be far too costly. Instead, Kaufman said the city would just have to wait for its Belgian supplier to ramp up production, which he expects in a couple of weeks.
“Bottlenecks or interruptions in the supply of fluoride products are not common,” the Center for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in a statement. “Most bottlenecks and disruptions usually occur for a short time on the order of several weeks.”