Michael Willock graduated from the UNC dental school and has been practicing for 30 years. If you visit his office there will be one thing unexpectedly missing – fluoride.
“Fluorine is extremely toxic,” he said. “If you look at the periodic table where it sits, the pure fluoride will melt glass and eat concrete.”
Willock was part of a group of about 20 that protested the addition of fluoride to the OWASA water supply.
Fluoride is commonly added to drinking water in the United States to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Daria Barazandeh founder of Fluoride Free Chapel Hill-Carrboro, said the group is pushing OWASA to reconsider fluoride.
“We have this great, dynamic group of people that are very passionate about this,” she said. “They keep coming to meetings and asking OWASA ‘can we please just look at this, can we have a fair review of fluoride and how toxic it is to the body?'”
In March, the OWASA Board of Directors recommitted to adding fluoride.
“The reason that OWASA and many other utilities add fluoride to drinking water is to help protect dental health,” said OWASA public affairs administrator Greg Feller. “Fluoridation is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the American Dental Association and the Orange County Health Department.”
The group also protested the cancellation of a public meeting that was supposed to be held by OWASA Monday night.
The board has not held a business meeting, which invites the public to speak on matters not on the agenda, since May 25.
According to an email sent by board chairman Robert Morgan, the August 24 meeting was canceled because there were no items on the agenda.
“I think they caught wind that we were organizing a lot of people to come to the meeting and they didn’t want to deal with it for whatever reason,” Barezandeh said.
OWASA fluoridates water to the level of .7 of one-part-per-million.
The federal limit is 4 parts-per-million.
The annual cost of fluoride for OWASA is $25,000.
The OWASA budget is over $40 million.