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Collier County taking fluoride out of water supply

Commissioners point to health freedom ordinances, cost savings
Collier County ends fluoride in water supply
Posted at 6:32 PM, Feb 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-13 18:32:26-05

NAPLES, Fla. — As the water flows in Collier County, the fluoride will stop flowing within the water.

The Collier County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved ending the use of fluoride in the public potable water supply. The 5-0 vote followed nearly three hours of debate, with dozens of speakers stepping up on Tuesday morning in Naples to talk about the issue.

“This is going to be a passionate conversation. This is not a contest. I don’t want to hear hand claps,” said Chris Hall, District 2 commissioner. “I ask you to be considerate of every speaker, whether you’re for or against.”

Supporters of ending using fluoride in the water supply pointed to the health freedom ordinances that passed in 2023.

Commissioner Dan Kowal said, for this year the utilities board approached the board about whether to save money.

“I started a little dive into some areas where, maybe, we can cut some costs,” said Kowal at the introduction of the topic. “I found out quickly (fluoride) is not a mandate. It is purely a recommendation from other organizations.”

Kowal said the cost of the fluoride is “about $130,000” for the product itself. He added the county is administering a medical treatment to “our citizens” based on a recommendation.

“We are in violation of our very own law,” said Kowal.

About twenty people spoke, nearly all of them in favor of ending fluoride in the water supply. However, people who supported keeping the fluoride pointed to the cost of treatments later on for dental treatments or loss of work time over cases of tooth decay.

After three hours of deciding whether or not to keep fluoride in the public supply of water and the impact on dental health and tooth decay, the board adjourned for lunch.