Breckenridge will treat water with fluoride despite protests

The Breckenridge Town Council decided this week to keep treating all public water with fluoride, despite impassioned pleas from a small group of activists.

The Summit Daily reports that a group called Fluoride Free Breckenridge lobbied the council for nearly an hour on Tuesday to stop using the additive that's been shown to be a cost-effective way to fight cavities and promote oral health.

However, activists point out studies that suggest it has unintended side effects.

“I wasn’t super concerned about it at first, but the same issue kept coming up again and again,” said Clover Stein, cofounder of Fluoride Free Breckenridge, who has suffered from hypothyroidism and found fluoride is a cause. “After doing research, what I found was appalling — just shocking.”

The federal Department of Health and Human Services is considering lower standards for added fluoride, The New York Times reported in February:

According to the Fluoride Action Network, an organization opposed to fluoridation, the reduction is needed because of “the obvious fact that American children are getting far more fluoride today than they were when fluoridation first began en masse in the 1950s.”

Paul Connett, the group’s executive director, noted that studies by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention have found that about 40 percent of teenagers now display dental fluorosis, or mottling on teeth caused by high fluoride levels. That percentage has doubled in less than 20 years.

And in case you missed it, check out CPR News' report Thursday on how tooth decay plagues children in many low-income families in Colorado.