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Scappoose voters still support fluoride in drinking water

Results of March 12 election show large majority in favor of fluoridating city's drinking water


by: SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Spotlight File photoScappoose voters on Tuesday signaled their continued support for fluoridating the city’s drinking water.

Of the 35.9 percent of registered voters who participated in the special March 12 election, 847 —60.5 percent — voted to continue adding fluoride and 551 wanted the service to stop, according to unofficial results of the Measure 5-231 vote.

It costs the city $5,000 annually to fluoridate its water.

The city has been adding approximately 0.7 milligrams of fluoride to every liter of water since 2000, but the practice was questioned earlier this year by former City Councilor Judie Ingham.

Ingham and Councilor Mark Reed said they were worried about the health effects of adding fluoride to drinking water, and Ingham claimed the practice contributed to her son’s case of fluorosis.

Dental fluorosis is a discoloration of tooth enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride.

Dentists and health experts across the nation, however, point out that adding fluoride to water is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to combat tooth decay and aid dental health.

The special election had been anticipated to cost the city approximately $3,000, said Scappose City Manager Jon Hanken.

Hanken had urged the council to pass the decision on to voters, but Ingham, along with other councilors, decided they would prefer to hold a public hearing on Sept. 4. A handful of people, representing both sides of the debate, showed up. Afterwards, the council decided to put the question to a ballot measure.