Fla. county to stop fluoridating water

Pinellas County in Florida has voted to stop fluoridating water that serves roughly 700,000 people amid concerns over cost and the government overstepping its bounds, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

Hours of debate lead to a 4-3 County Commission vote to cease fluoridation this fall, saving the county about $205,000 per year, the article stated. A dozen dentists and health officials urged the commission to continue fluoridation.

Until 2004, when the fluoridation began, Pinellas County was the single largest eastern-U.S. water supplier of nonfluoridated water, the Times noted. After this fall, only about 25% of Pinellas County's population will receive fluoridated water.

One commissioner, John Morroni, who supported fluoridation when the county enacted the practice in 2004, voted against it because he feels government should not tell people that they must have fluoride in their water, the article stated.

Oscar Menendez, DDS, president of the Upper Pinellas Dental Society, said during the meeting that, although no study had confirmed it, area dentists noted a decrease in tooth decay in recent years.

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