Fluoride Throwdown!

The Environmental Board has water on tap tonight

Tanks of hydrofluorosilicic acid, aka fluoride, at Ullrich Water Treatment Plant
Tanks of hydrofluorosilicic acid, aka fluoride, at Ullrich Water Treatment Plant (Photo by John Anderson)

As we’ve written, Austin’s water fluoridation practices inspire a small but rowdy band of opponents. City staff tried to assuage their concerns – or at least provide a pretext for closing the door on the discussion – in a report (PDF) defending the practice. Tonight, that report should receive a scrutinous vetting.

The city’s Environmental Board meets tonight, and the city's "Water Fluoridation Report" is on the agenda. Sources cited therein, like Austin/Travis County Health and Human Resources medical director Philip Huang, will be there to defend their findings, along with fluoridation opponents like Sierra Club scientist Neil Carman. But staffers should expect pushback not only from fluoridation foes, but possibly from the board itself. Back in August, the board asked the City Council to examine the issue, a task city staff ultimately took upon themselves. Thing is, the board doesn’t sound like they were kept in the loop. As board secretary Phil Moncada told us last week, “Why would we have moved forward asking council to do something, if it was already being done?"

The Environmental Board meets today, 6pm, at city hall. And judging from the animosity the subject’s inspired, fluoride won’t be the only volatile element in the room.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Boards and Commissions, Water Utility, Environment, Fluoride, Environmental Board

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