Group wants fluoride removed from Windsor water

Lakeshore is the latest community to go fluoride free. An anti-fluoride group wants Windsor to follow suit.
A group of more than 200 people want Windsor to remove fluoride from drinking water. 3:08

Lakeshore is the latest community to go fluoride free. An anti-fluoride group wants Windsor to follow suit.

"We should let water be water," said Ayesha Drouillard, one of approximately 200 members of a group called Fluoride Free Windsor. "Why do we need to  add medication to our water and medicate the mass population without our consent? I never was asked if I wanted fluoride in the water ... were you?"

Lakeshore's latest move rekindled the debate about fluoride. Some say it's essential and beneficial to fight cavities. Others argue it's harmful to one's health and should not be ingested.

"It's not meant to be ingested," Drouillard said.

That's why Fluoride Free Windsor was happy with Lakeshore's decisions.

"We had no idea that they were considering removing fluoride from the water," Drouillard said. "We were surprised and shocked and happy and relieved that maybe this might help our cause."

Windsor 'compelled' to add fluoride

It won't help any time soon, according to Windsor Utilities Commission general manager John Wladarski.

Windsor spends $130,000 dollars each year to add fluoride to its water system. And it's been doing so for 58 years now.

"As a matter of our licence we're compelled to continue the use of fluoride until there's a consensus in the communities we serve that they choose otherwise," Wladarski said.

Windsor's license is up for renewal in 2014 and only then could fluoride be removed by vote of council.

Drouillard and others in the Fluoride Free Windsor movement are hoping to raise awareness and debate about fluoride in the water, because they say the decision to have it added should not be one of municipal politicians. It should be personal choice.

Drouillard is so concerned about the health effects of fluoridation, she gives her children water treated with reverse osmosis to remove the chemical.

Dentist Charles Frank was also surprised and shocked by Lakeshore's decision, but he wasn't happy.

He's a big supporter of water fluoridation for dental health.

"Communities where fluoride's been taken out you double the number of dental carries," Frank said.

However, research done for the ministry of health at the university of Toronto in 1999 concluded: "the few studies of communities where fluoridation has been withdrawn do not suggest significant increases in dental caries."