By Jennifer Stanko
A move by San Marcos to no longer add fluoride to the city’s water supply system could have a small impact on water in Kyle and Buda.
But according to Kyle Utilities Coordinator Jason Biemer, the city has no plans to add fluoride into the city’s water supply, as there are no federal or state laws that mandate it.
“Kyle has no plans to install or otherwise add fluoride to the drinking water,” Biemer said.
It stems from the city’s Nov. 17 city council meeting where Biemer presented information regarding the changes to surface water from the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA).
GBRA, the entity that operates San Marcos’ water treatment plant, discontinued the use of fluoride in the city’s drinking water supply.
This result was years in the making by a local grassroots organization, Fluoride-Free San Marcos Coalition, via Proposition 1, which San Marcos voters passed in November.
According to Fluoride-Free San Marcos Coalition Facebook’s page, Fluoride is classified as “a neurotoxin by one of the world’s leading medical journals, The Lancet Neurology.”
The coalition claims fluoride, called Hydrofluorosilicic Acid, is “dumped into our water systems courtesy of fertilizer and aluminum factories.”
“It contains lead and arsenic and there is no biochemical process in the body that requires either of these or fluoride,” according to the coalition’s Facebook page.
Fluoride was first added to the water supply in the 1930s to assist with strengthening teeth and preventing cavities.
Various health and medical organizations endorse water fluorination, including the American Dental Association (ADA), American Medical Association (AMA).
But Biemer said there are challenges with fluoride.
“It is a difficult and dangerous chemical to store,” said Biemer, “and would require the construction of a chemical storage unit and delivery system.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all water contains at least trace amounts of fluoride and when these trace amounts are not large enough to provide oral health benefits, then fluoride should be added.
The CDC claims 20 million Texans access drinking water that is fluorinated.
Kyle, which receives surface water from the GBRA via San Marcos, has approximately .7 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of fluoride in the water.
“We will always have some fluoride present in our groundwater, and to some degree surface water, by the nature of where the waters come from, and the rock formations they pass over or through on their way to us or the GBRA surface water treatment plant," Biemer said.
After listening to Biemer’s presentation and weighing all of the facts, council member Shane Arabie held concerns over fluoride in the water supply system.
“It does not sound like the benefits outweigh the hazards,” Arabie said.