BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the Brevard County Commission began the process that Commission Chair Rita Pritchett said will likely lead to the halting of adding fluoride to the water in Mims.
What You Need To Know
- The Brevard County Commission voted recently to stop adding fluoride to the water in Mims
- The unanimous decision was made in less than six minutes and with no input from the public during the meeting
- A timeline for removing the fluoride from the Mims water supply has not been released
The decision came during Pritchett’s report to the commission, during which she brought up the topic of community water fluoridation.
“This has been something that I kind of been researching for about 10 or 15 years when I was a young mother and trying to figure out safety levels of fluoride in the water,” Pritchett, a certified public accountant, said on Friday.
A timestamp of Tuesday’s meeting shows that from the introduction of fluoridation through the vote itself, the commission spent just shy of six minutes discussing the topic that impacts 3,353 water accounts or about 8,383 people, according to numbers from the Brevard County Utility Services provided to Spectrum News 13.
Because the discussion and vote occurred within the “Board Reports” portion of the meeting, and because public notice was given on the discussion or vote, the public didn’t have a chance to weigh in on the decision.
On Friday, Spectrum News 13 interviewed some Mims residents who fell on both sides of the discussion over water fluoridation. But both said they were unaware of the commission’s decision and said that the public should have a chance to weigh in on what’s happening to their water.
“I think they should have every input on it. She shouldn’t make a decision just solely on herself,” said Rachel Bearden, a Mims resident who supports the water fluoridation.
“They should at least send something out, just cause if you don’t catch the news, at least it’s in your mailbox that something is going to be changed about it,” said Derrick Dunston, an opponent of water fluoridation.
What is community water fluoridation?
Community water fluoridation is the process of adding a low concentration of fluoride to a water supply. In 2015, the U.S. Public Health Service updated its recommended level of fluoride to 0.7 ppm (parts per million) or mg/l (milligrams per liter).
It’s designed to assist with the prevention of tooth decay in both adults and children.
Dr. James Antoon, a dentist who practices in Rockledge and was part of the group that help educate both the Titusville and Mims communities on the benefits of water fluoridation before they were enacted, said that there is also a significant cost benefit to adding fluoride.
“For every 30 cents or so that’s spent on fluoridation per child, you save up to $30 to $40 for a child on dental care,” Antoon said. “The number one cause of children…