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Anti-Fluoride Water Superintendent Just Wanted To Protect Town's Precious Bodily Fluids
Probably a good time to go find out who your local water superintendent is.
Since the 1940s, fluoride has been added to public drinking water systems for the purpose of preventing cavities. Also, since the 1940s, America's top minds have developed a variety of completely batshit conspiracy theories about water fluoridation. Was it a secret plot by known universal-healthcare-supporter Harry S. Truman to inure Americans to the horrors of socialized medicine by preventing them from getting cavities without even asking them first if they perhaps wanted to have cavities? Was it perhaps "a Communist plot to deplete the brainpower and sap the strength of a generation of American children?" Was it a plan by our own government to turn us all into easily controlled, docile sheep unable who don't even care if the government is doing tyranny to them? Did the government just put it there to cause children to get autism? Is China somehow tainting the fluoride we get from them?
That last one is the one Kendall Chamberlin, the water and wastewater superintendent of Richmond, Vermont was most worried about.
Why yes, they have been doing this shit forever
Four years ago, in a bid to save the town from whatever it was he thought the Chinese were doing to the fluoride, Chamberlin went ahead and reduced the amount of fluoride in their drinking water on his own without letting anyone else know about it.
“My duty is to take reasonable care and judgment for the protection of public health, safety and the environment of my customers,” he said, adding that “to err on the side of caution is not a bad position to be in.”
Kendall Chamberlin Courtesy photo
Except now people's kids have cavities and they're kind of pissed off about it.
Katie Mather, who lives in Richmond, a town of about 4,100 in northwestern Vermont, said at a water commission meeting this week that her dentist recently found her two kids’ first cavities. She acknowledged they eat a lot of sugar, but noted that her dentist recommended against supplemental fluoride because the town’s water should be doing the trick.
Her dentist “was operating and making professional recommendations based on state standards we all assumed were being met, which they were not,” Mather said. “It’s the fact that we didn’t have the opportunity to give our informed consent that gets to me.”
Chamberlin has since apologized to the town and the Water and Sewer Commission has voted unanimously to restore fluoride levels.
Sadly, he's far from alone. Dozens of towns across the United States have decided in recent years to stop fluoridating their water for similarly ridiculous reasons. In 2018, even, the Texas GOP included support for banning fluoridation on their platform. But at least the people living there knew about it and could, if they wanted to and were able to afford it, get their fluoride elsewhere.
While probably no one thinks twice about who the hell is in charge of their water supply, this is one reason why it is important to keep track of what is going on in our local governments. We can laugh about the stupid shit people actually believe, but it's a lot less funny when the people who believe these things have the power to act on those beliefs without our consent or knowledge.
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