Water fluoridation is a topic that’s sparked controversy for decades across Kansas. This past election, Wichitan’s voted down fluoridating city water.
Now up the road in Salina, people are pressuring the city government to take the fluoride out of the water system there. For more than two decades, the City of Salina has fluoridated its water.
“We want the city to get the “F” out of our water,” said John Boesen with Salina Cares. He is one of a small group of citizens who are pushing the city to remove the chemical from its water system. “The city has the power to stop fluoridating water and that’s our main focus right now,” said Boesen.
Salina City Manager, Jason Gage says they keep a close eye on federal numbers and statistics, making sure what they’re doing is safe. “We still feel it’s beneficial to do it. So we are keeping with our past practices of doing it,” said Gage.
According to the CDC, 66-percent of Americans have fluoridated water. That number is a little lower here in Kansas with a little more than 1.1 million people drinking fluoridated water.
Both sides say statistics support their opinion. “Fluoride is unsafe and ineffective,” said Boesen. But, the city says the cost compared to health impacts for citizens is well worth it. “As long as we follow the federal guidelines, they’re pretty comfortable with that,” said Gage. Regardless of which side you stand on both sides want everyone to have the facts before a decision is made about the future of fluoride.