2016-11-09 / Front Page

Voters appear to vote against water fluoridation

By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer

YORK COUNTY — With all but one precinct reporting, it appears voters within the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Wells Water District have chosen to remove fluoride from their drinking water following Tuesday’s election. 

Voters in the district — which includes the three communities in addition to Ogunquit, Arundel and parts of York and Coastal Biddeford — were asked the question: “Shall fluoride be added to the public water supply for the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay?”

Fluoridation referendum results from York were not available by press time, but as of early Wednesday morning 13,355 people had voted against adding fluoride to the water, compared to the 6,867 who said they want to keep fluoridating the supply. 

The decision is a victory for KKW, which as a district took the stance against fluoridating the water, citing health concerns and the impracticality of continuing the practice. 

Norm Labbe, superintendent of the district, has said in the past that KKW’s water has a natural amount of fluoride already in it, and that people ingest more fluoride through their diets than they have in the past. 

Labbe has also argued that fluoride is merely a topical treatment, and that ingesting it may weaken bones while providing no additional systemic benefits. 

Those in favor of fluoride disagree, claiming there hasn’t been evidence that ingesting fluoride is dangerous and citing evidence saying tooth decay increases rapidly once communities elect to remove the compound from their water. 

This story will be updated as more election results become available. 

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com. 

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