As part of its 2019-2022 strategic priorities, Kingston City Council is exploring the feasibility of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply, and looking for public input.
According to Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health, 73.7 per cent of local households surveyed in 2009 and 2010 incorrectly thought that fluoride was added to the municipal water supply. Although sections of the east end of the city used fluoridated water for a number of years, it was discontinued in October of 2008. The same survey from KFL&A Public Health found that 72.1 per cent of local households supported the idea of adding fluoride to the municipal water supply in 2009/2010, and KFL&A Public Health itself supports community water fluoridation “as an effective way to prevent tooth decay.”
Under City Council’s strategic priority to “foster healthy citizens and vibrant spaces,” the City is now looking into whether or not to fluoridate water in the future. As part of this process, the City is hosting a public survey on its GetInvolved.CityofKingston.ca website, as well as two public open houses. According to the KFL&A Public Health, seven out of 10 residents in Ontario have access to fluoridated water, including those in Belleville, Brockville, Ottawa, and Toronto.
“Please note that the municipality is neither for, nor against, fluoridation at this point. We are just collecting information for Council’s consideration,” said Lanie Hurdle, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Kingston in a statement.
In seeking public input, the City has created a fluoride and water fluoridation webpage with information on how fluoride works, the history of water fluoridation, fluoridation in Ontario, and some input from health agencies on fluoridation, all of which is available here.
Those wanting to provide feedback can complete the survey online by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 3, 2020, or attend one of the two upcoming open houses. The open houses will take place:
- On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Rideau Heights Community Centre, located at 85 MacCauley Street
- On Thursday, Feb. 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the INVISTA Centre, located at 1350 Gardiners Road.
City Staff are expected to bring a report back to City Council with their findings around mid-2020.
For more information on community water fluoridation from KFL&A Public Health, click here.