Monday, January 5, 2009


Burlington has fluoridated its drinking water since 1952.

In March, 2005 the Burlington Board of Health began investigations regarding the continuation of adding fluoride into the city's water. After two public forums the board voted 3-2 to continue the practice, but advised the city council to reduce the amount, which the council ordered (The amount was reduced to 1/ppm from 1.7.). Enough signatures were gathered in 2006 to have a ballot item to stop the addition of fluoride to the drinking water. That item failed at the City Election in March, 2006.

In November, 2008 the board received new information concerning water fluoridation.

Tonight, the board voted on a resolution to discontinue water fluoridaton in Burlington. Board members Fern Crete and I [I am a board of health commissioner] presented the following resolution:
In light of recent scientific developments indicating the potential for harm to certain subsets of the population, the Burlington Board of Health recommends immediately taking a precautionary stance by discontinuing the practice of water fluoridation. It is our opinion that drinking water should be pure and safe for all.

● In 2006 the National Research Council's published report entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water” identified vulnerable subsets of the population who may be at an increased risk from the toxic effects of fluoride. These subsets include infants, diabetics, kidney patients, and those with impaired thyroid function.
● Following the NRC's report the American Dental Association recommended that infants (0 -6 months of age) not receive fluoridated water.
● In 2008 the National Kidney Foundation discontinued its support of community water fluoridation and stated that kidney patients should be notified of the potential risks from fluoride exposure.
● The chemical being added to Burlington's water supply is Hydrofluorosilisic Acid. It is a highly toxic industrial byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing. There are virtually no human health effects studies on these fluorosilicate compounds.
● The intended purpose of adding fluoridation chemicals to the water is to provide a medical benefit to the consumer by preventing tooth decay. While we do not use the public drinking water as a medium for delivering other medications, it is our opinion that fluoride should be no exception. As with any other drug, fluoride has side effects.
● It is the opinion of the Burlington Board of Health that the public water supply should be safe for all Burlington residents with emphasis on infants, kidney patients, diabetics, and those with impaired thyroid function.
This time the resolution to remove fluoride from the city's drinking water passed 3-2. The Board will send its recommendation to the city council.


From SWABVT: the media advisory on the board's vote.

Further reading: I referred to the National Research Council: Fluoride in Drinking Water in my motion last night.


  1. Thank You. It takes a very special person to go against the status quo with fluoridation. We know your vote against fluoridation will inspire others.

  2. nyscof: And thanks for your comment and your good work in New York!

  3. I applaud and thank you Jay for leading this through the board and getting it passed. My hope now is that the City Council will weigh the evidence rationally and come to a decision reflecting science, facts, and precaution rather than dogma, fear, and maintaining the status quo.


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