A city councilman from Queens apparently wants your your teeth to rot and fall out. The Daily News says Councilman Peter Vallone is planning to introduce a bill that would end New York's 45-year practice of adding fluoride to its tap water, citing safety concerns and comparing the mineral to prescription anti-depressants.
Via the News:
"This amounts to forced medication by the government," said Councilman Peter Vallone (D-Queens), who plans to introduce fluoride-removal legislation at the next Council meeting, "What's next? They decide we're depressed and add Prozac to our drinking water?"
Of course, scientists and government agencies (including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have long held that water fluoridation is a coup for public health since it drastically helps to reduce tooth decay.
Officials from the CDC and the city's Health Department both told the News they had no concerns about the safety of fluoride in drinking water, which the paper says 72 percent of Americans drink anyway and which the city has been pumping through its pipes since 1965.
While the News says some studies have found that too much fluoride can "weaken teeth and bones" and "diminish children's intelligence," New York's water "has about 1 milligram" of fluoride per liter, "a level most scientists consider safe" and only a fourth of the maximum amount of fluoride permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
No word on whether the good councilman will offer to pay New Yorkers' dental bills, but with all that lead in the city's water
, cavities don't seem like such a big deal, anyway.