Snowmass Resumes Fluoride Use; Water Board Member Resigns

Bowing to public sentiment and the urgings of the dental establishment, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District voted 3-2 last week to lift a controversial ban on fluoride in its drinking supply, which had been imposed last July. That prompted one water board member — whose wife had been one of the resort area's most vocal opponents of fluoridation — to resign. 

As we reported last month, the fluoride ban touched off a lively debate in Snowmass Village and environs — as well as a subsequent running battle in our comments section. Although the Centers for Disease Control lists the fluoridation of water supplies across the nation as one of the ten great health achievements of the twentieth century, opponents consider fluoridation to be a form of over-medication that most European countries now shun, a relic of 1950s healty policy that some believe can be linked to ADHD, arthritis and thyroid problems. 

The ban prompted the Colorado Dental Association to weigh in with ads urging the board to reconsider its decision; a survey of customers indicated that 64 percent preferred to have fluoridated water, leading to last week's reversal.

According to this report in the Aspen Daily News, the return of fluoride prompted water board vice-president Dave Dawson to resign, declaring, "I must disassociate myself in protest and in my discomfort." Dawson's wife, Cris Cuda Dawson, whose family reportedly owns a water-treatment business in Aspen, has referred to fluoride as an "aluminum waste byproduct."

"I and anti-fluoride people will continue to fight for our children, our rights and our beautiful planet," Cris Dawson wrote in a letter to the Aspen Times. "A lot of people are finally waking up, but obviously Snowmass Village is still asleep."
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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast