BOOTHBAY HARBOR, Maine — Voters in the Boothbay region have decided fluoride should still be added to the public water supply for the purpose of keeping people's teeth healthy.
The water district sends tap water to Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport. According to the Boothbay Region Water District, the total for the three towns was 1,975 yes votes (keep it) and 1,533 no votes (get rid of it).
Fluoride was introduced to the United States' drinking water starting in 1945. It was introduced to drinking water in the Boothbay region in 2004 after voters approved the measure. The National Institute of Health says more than 200,000,000 Americans currently drink fluoridated drinking water.
In October, members of the Fluoride Opposition Committee in the Boothbay region told NEWS CENTER Maine people should have a choice, as to whether or not they consume fluoride.
"Number one point is that it should be a personal choice. Everyone should have a choice on how they want to treat themselves," Anna Christina Rogers, the woman who was leading the charge to remove fluoride from the town's local water source, said.
The Boothbay Region Water District stopped putting fluoride in its water back in September because of supply chain issues that restricted the amount of fluoride coming into the United States.
John Zigra, the general manager of the water district, said he wants the public to know that — fluoride or not — the water is safe to drink and has no health ramifications.
"We're putting it in parts per million, or in some cases, parts per billion concentrations," Zigra said about the amount of fluoride typically used. "We're talking small amounts into a large amount of water. It's done with a lot of tech and very good operators."
The CDC said the only negative side effects of the small amount of fluoride used to treat water are stains on teeth.