Calgary votes ‘Yes’ to reintroducing fluoride into water supply

Calgarians have voted in favour of reintroducing fluoride into the municipal water supply.

On Monday, Calgarians voted 61 per cent in favour of the move, beating out those who opposed it by nearly 65,000 votes.

It’s something the city has voted on for decades, with councillors voting to remove it back in 2011.

Prior to that, Calgarians had voted “Yes” to fluoridation in 1989 and 1998.

Currently, there is already some fluoride in our water supply at levels of 0.1 to 0.4 parts per million (ppm).

Health Canada has recommended an optimal level of fluoride at 0.7 ppm, which is what the city will do once reintroduced.

According to the Alberta Dental Association and College (ADA&C), that 0.7 ppm figure takes into account fluoride that people get from other sources like toothpaste or mouthwash.


“Studies have shown that it decreases the rate of tooth decay by up to 25 per cent in children and in adults,” said Dr. Bruce Yaholnitsky, the former president of the ADA&C. “Comparing just Edmonton and Calgary, you can see there is a significant difference in the decay rate.”

Fluoridation in municipal water supply has been endorsed by over 90 professional health organizations that include Health Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association and the World Health Organization.

Aside from health benefits, Alberta Health Services and the ADA&C also say fluoridation comes with social and economic benefits. AHS says water fluoridation will help protect the most vulnerable because tap water is accessible to 100 per cent of people connected to the municipal water supply, regardless of age, socioeconomic status, education, income, race or ethnicity.

– with files from Joey Chini

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