Proposal to add fluoride to local water met with resistance

Posted at: 02/25/2014 5:56 PM
Updated at: 02/26/2014 11:32 AM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A battle is brewing over the metro's drinking water, and whether the government should be adding fluoride to it.

Community Dental Services, a non-profit group that serves low income families, came forward with concerns that the natural levels of fluoride in the water were low.  The group says fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps build bone density.

As a result, the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority is considering a plan to put more fluoride in the public water system.

It's something the county used to do but discontinued in 2011.

Albuquerque's increasing use of river water has diluted the levels of fluoride.

The majority of Albuquerque gets water that's below the recommended fluoride levels of .7 parts per million.

Some people who would like more research before changing the water.

Opposers say fluoride is connected to illnesses like indigestion, teeth staining and joint pain, problems usually connected with having too much fluoride in the water.

Also, adding more fluoride would cost $400,000 a year.

Local pediatricians KOB Eyewitness News 4 spoke with say fluoride in small quantities is not a health threat.

The fluoride proposal was on the agenda for a utility meeting tomorrow but is going to be delayed to give the public more time to weigh in.