F or the first time in 40 years , B oyne City will no longer add fluoride to the city's water supply.
M embers of the City Commission think this will make the water healthier, but local health professionals disagree.
G ene Towne was one of the elected officials that voted to get rid of fluoride treatments.
"W hen it comes to the chance I do not take that chance," Towne, Boyne City Mayor Pro-Tem said.
He and two other commission members based their decision on information they found online.
R eports that said over exposure to fluoride could cause a variety of diseases.
S o they decided that citizens should be able to choose how much they put into their body.
"I t's a freedom of choice , a freedom of choice of everything , whether it's fluoride , voting , religion , and everything has to be a choice ," Towne said.
B ut before the vote , multiple doctors and dentists stood before the commission to refute claims that fluoride is unsafe.
"T he City Commission is abdicating it's responsibility to its citizens and it's making decisions, in this case, based on false information and flawed science," Thomas Veryser, Michigan Community Dental Clinics CEO said.
H e says there is no proof that fluoride is bad for you , in fact every national health organization supports it's use.
"The people that will be affected most are the people that can afford dental care the least," Veryser said.
G etting rid of fl u oride in the water was initially brought up during budget meetings , looking to save money. B ut how much does it cost the city?
"T he financial impacts of the situation on this are very low ," Michael Cain, Boyne City Manager explained. "W e estimated the cos t of putting fluoride into our system to be $2,500 to $3,500 year."
W hich is roughly $1 per person. But if you were to pay for your own fluoride treatments it will cost you around $38 a year.
"I t makes absolutely no sense for us to eliminate an economical and simple way to prevent dental disease ," Veryser said.
C ommunities like Charlevoix, Traverse City, and Harbor Springs currently use fluoride in their water. While Gaylord, Kalkaska, and Mancelona do not.