UPDATE 8/24: The vote to put additional fluoride into the water supply in Albuquerque and Bernalillo County was postponed Wednesday night, after lacking enough votes from water utility board members to pass the measure.
The Albuquerque Journal reports 70 folks attended the public meeting, 32 of which spoke publicly of the pros and cons of water fluoridation.
The next vote on the project will happen September 20.
Water utility officials could decide to add supplemental fluoride back into the water supply for Albuquerque and Bernalillo County.
The water utility had stopped putting more fluoride in the water in 2011 while waiting on the federal government to release new health guidelines. Then, last year, a proposal failed. Now fluoride advocates are trying again.
Dr. Tom Schripsema said there’s a lot of research that shows a benefit from fluoridation. He’s the Executive Director of the state’s Dental Association.
“There’s so many places who’ve had it for so long," Schripsema said, "we should do it for Albuquerque.”
The water here has naturally occurring fluoride in it already, but not to the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Critics say adding fluoride is unnecessary and could cause other health problems.
KUNM's Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation. Find more at www.publichealthnm.org.