Jonesborough dentist starts petition to keep fluoride in water supply

JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) – In February, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in Jonesborough, Tennessee voted to stop water fluoridation at the end of June 2017.

Dr. Allen Burleson said he believes the decision was not based on proven science and is a bad move.

The board sent out a survey to all Jonesborough Water customers in 2016 contained and Burleson believes the facts of the survey inaccurate.

Burleson believes that optimal fluoridation of the water is necessary for those in our rural communities who don’t have access to health care.

“I think it’s a terrible move. I’m concerned about our children, my grandchildren, and great-grandchildren that come along. There’s not any reasoning in my opinion that they should’ve done this,” Burleson said.

Jonesborough Town Administrator Bob Browning said fluoride isn’t used in treating the water to remove bacteria such as E. coli or solid waste.

Browning said fluoride is a medication.

“If we are going to be the ones responsible for medicating water then somebody needs to show us the documentation that says fluoride ingested over a period of time does not harm the body,” Browning said.

Board members that voted to remove the process of fluoridation said there just wasn’t enough evidence to prove it didn’t harm the body.

The board initially raised concern years ago after a visit to the city’s water plant when board members said they noticed that fluoride burned a hole through concrete, prompting a conversation on fluoride’s safety.

The question was raised as to where the pros of fluoridating the water outweighed the cons.

Those cons are the long-term effects on the body.

The board has worked out a compromise to work with local agencies and Washington County Schools on an oral health initiative to help children who are vulnerable.

Dr. Burleson said he is hopeful the petition will have an effect on the board’s decision.

There is no set date for when the fluoridation will stop.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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