A class action lawsuit has been filed against the City of Prince George, B.C., over dental damage allegedly caused by the city's fluoridated tap water.
Prince George is one of only a handful of cities in the province that still adds fluoride to its drinking water in an effort to prevent tooth decay. Some residents, however, say they have developed dental fluorosis — resulting in a permanent discolouration of enamel — because of overexposure to the chemical compound as children.
Kevin Millership, who is not a lawyer or a resident of Prince George, brought forward the lawsuit and is representing two people who claim they suffer from the disorder.
"Every day that Prince George is fluoridated, they're causing harm," he said.
"You basically look like you've been chewing on rocks and tar."
Millership said the damage caused by fluoride is more than just superficial.
"It's cosmetic, but it's also physical damage. It's cosmetic damage, physically damaging the teeth, and psychologically damaging the person affected."
This is not the first time Millership has taken his case against fluoridated drinking water to court. In 2003, he unsuccessfully tried to sue the city of Kamloops, B.C., in an attempt to get compensation for himself.
The Centre of Disease Control, Health Canada, and Northern Health Authority have all endorsed adding fluoride to tap water, despite the fact that many municipalities have eliminated the chemical from its water supplies.
The City of Prince George said it would not comment on the lawsuit while it is before the courts. A referendum on the issue will be held during the municipal election this fall.