CORNWALL, Ontario – The area’s medical officer of health is expected to make a detailed presentation to city council Monday night, outlining his support for water fluoridation in Cornwall.
The Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s Paul Roumeliotis will refute material provided just two weeks ago from an American university professor who lobbied city council to abandon water fluoridation for good.
Among reams of material filed with the city clerk for his Monday presentation is specific mention of hydrofluorosilic acid, the material added to Cornwall’s water supply in the past to create the fluoride which proponents argue results in stronger teeth.
“Once introduced into drinking water, due to the pH of that water, the (acid) is immediately and completely hydrolyzed (broken down),” reads a response to a presentation made at the previous council meeting by St. Lawrence University professor Paul Connett. “After this point, (the acid) no longer exists in that water. It does not reach the tap. It is not ingested. It is therefore of no concern, whatsoever.”
But in its pure form hydrofluorosilic acid is extremely toxic, and city environment manager Morris McCormick has even labeled it a “significant” risk to health and safety.
Roumeliotis points to the health benefits of drinking fluoridated water, including a reduction in tooth decay of up to 40 per cent in people of all ages.
He further suggests every dollar invested in fluoridating water results in a $38 savings in dental treatments.
The practice of fluoridating Cornwall’s water was abandoned three years ago when health and safety concerns at the city’s water treatment plant became evident.
It will cost taxpayers as much as $350,000 to fix the safety issues at the plant, and an additional $50,000 a year to operate with a fluoridated system.