Healdsburg: Nothing but Questions




Healdsburg: Nothing But Questions


By Larry Hanson

Since the hiring of an outside person as Health Department officer for Sonoma County’s Health Services to bring fluoridation to Sonoma County’s drinking water, I have had nothing but questions.

But before I ask my questions, there are a few things I learned that I didn’t know before this fluoride campaign got started.  I found out that:

·    The only city in Sonoma County that fluoridates their drinking water is Healdsburg.

·    That neither infants nor fetuses are supposed to have fluoridated water.

·    That no water dispensers, private or public, have or will label that the water is fluoridated.

·    That there is no practical way to treat fluoride in wastewater so that the County will allow fluoridated water to get into our waterways and expose all the wildlife to this chemical.

There are many other reasons to wonder about the wisdom of adding fluoride to drinking water but the above statements are undisputed, so let’s put them together in the form of questions.

The claim is made that since Healdsburg has been fluoridating its drinking water for some period of time, that it has been effective for dental health. They put forth a small study that says there is an improvement in tooth decay for kindergarteners but oddly shows no improvement at third grade. This is a tenuous result for them to hang their hat on. But the real kicker is that no studies were done that most people are concerned about, and that is the safety issues to general health that some recent, independent studies are indicating. So the question of health related impacts from fluoridating Healdsburg drinking water is unstudied and, therefore, unknown.

The next set of questions have to do with the statement the Health Department officer made before the Board of Supervisors that infants should not drink the water and should get their water from a different source. What source would that be?

Apparently, nursing does not impart fluoride but what about mothers that choose not to nurse or caretakers/baby sitters that bottle feed?


Pregnant mothers cannot drink fluoridated water due to the placenta exchange between mother and fetus. Where does the water come from? Plastic bottled water?  How will they know if bottled water is not fluoridated?

This brings up the next set of questions.  I hope the City of Healdsburg has some answers.

If none of the water dispensers anywhere in the city have warning labels for mothers of infants, how would mothers know not to give their babies fluoridated water?

What kind of a program, if any, does Healdsburg have to let the mothers know about fluoridated water in every private and public tap? More importantly, if Healdsburg has a plan, does it work effectively?  Have there been surveys or samplings done to know the level of awareness for pregnant and new mothers?  If none of this is going on, have there been efforts to check infants for fluoride related health problems? If not, why not?

Since it is known that fluoride will not be treated in the wastewater and will get into Sonoma County waterways and that infants with small bodies are affected, do they really believe that the much smaller bodies of wildlife will not be impacted.

My final questions are mostly just musings.  I wonder if most Healdsburg residents besides mothers with infants know they are drinking fluoridated water?  I wonder if any of the thousands of tourists visiting Healdsburg know they are being served fluoridated water?  And what about the wine that comes from Healdsburg?  (Note: Bear Republic beer is processed in Cloverdale. Yes!).

Does anyone have any answers or are there just more questions?

SOURCE: Sonoma County Gazette / Op-Ed May 2013 / “Fluoride to Drinking Water: Nothing But Questions” by Larry Hanson