By Michael Schwanke
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
12:01 AM CDT, October 29, 2012
(SANTA FE, NM)
Santa Fe, New Mexico is a town that offers a unique way of living and prides itself on being different.
The town has added fluoride to its water since the 1950s, but now, the city council has voted to stop adding it.
The council decided and already voted, but there were concerns about how open the process was. So now, members will vote again...but most have already made their decision.
"Over the years has been beneficial," said council member Ron Trujillo, "I do understand that I'm going to keep my stance that there's enough fluoride occurring in this community that we don't need to add to it."
There isn't enough according to the CDC. Santa Fe and Wichita are similar when it comes to naturally occuring fluoride. Both cities have about half of what's recommended, and just like Wichita - Santa Fe council members have different opinions.
"For me the benefits outweigh those possible downsides which haven't been quantified, I don't believe," Councilman Peter Ives told us. He's the only one who wants to keep the fluoride.
"From my perspective, the people who suffer the greatest effect of not fluoridation are those who are most vulnerable," Ives said.
Opinions in the community vary as well. Some are concerned about health risks, but others are worried about not having a choice.
We talked with dentists in Santa Fe, they were surprised and disappointed by the decision.
"As an adult and you're affluent and you've had good dental care, you don't think much about it," said Dr. Kris Kendricks. "It doesn't seem like it affects you."
Unlike Wichita, the fluoridation decision will not go to the public in Santa Fe. And if it comes to an end, Councilman Ives says he wants one question answered.
"I think the most important thing we can do is if we stop fluoridation is to find a way to measure the impact of that."
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