FARMINGTON -- Waterwatch of Utah will soon be getting an audience with the Davis County Health Board to discuss the potential risks of overexposing area infants to fluoridated tap water.
Waterwatch of Utah Director Lorna Rosenstein approached the Davis County Commission on Tuesday requesting it to recommend that its health department send out a health advisory warning parents of the risks fluoridated water poses to their infants and young children.
What Waterwatch of Utah will get is the opportunity to deliver that request to the health board firsthand.
The health board meets next at 7 a.m. Feb. 8, at the county health building, 22 S. State St., in Clearfield.
The request from Waterwatch of Utah comes on the heels of a Jan. 7 federal health announcement about lowering the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 milligrams per liter to prevent dental fluorosis, a spotting or discoloration of the teeth, particularly found in preteens.
The fluoride level in Davis and Salt Lake counties' drinking water is already in compliance with the recommended federal level, officials say.
But Rosenstein said that, based on the recent announcement by federal health officials, now is the time to revisit sending to parents and caregivers an infant fluorosis advisory.
County Commissioner Bret Millburn said the group Rosenstein should be addressing is the county health board, which then makes recommendations to the commission.
But Rosenstein claims she has been denied the opportunity to approach that group, and asked Millburn, a liaison to that board, to extend her an invitation so she can approach the group with her request.
Following the Tuesday commission meeting, Millburn said he would do what he could.
"(Rosenstein) has never made a request to address the board of health," County Health Director Lewis Garrett said.
Rosenstein said she approached the commission, and not the health board, because the health board "has a dog in this fight," meaning it was the group that originally moved to put fluoride in the county's drinking water.
Voters in 2000, by a 52 to 48 percent margin, approved adding one part per million of fluoride to the county's drinking water. A second vote on that fluoride referendum in 2004 was upheld by voters by a 51 to 49 percent margin.
The intent of Waterwatch of Utah, based in Layton, is to take the same infant advisory request to the Salt Lake County Health Board, Rosenstein said.
She said health advisories to parents should come at the expense of the health departments.
The Davis Board of Health is a conservative group, and when these infant advisories were issued in 2006 regarding the concerns of babies and infants being overexposed to fluoride, the county lowered its fluoride levels, Garrett said.
It is for that reason, Garrett said, that he cannot see the logic in sending out a warning, alarming parents, when there is no threat.
"This is not dangerous. This is a great public health measure," Garrett said in an earlier interview.
But one who disagrees with him is Delpha Baird, chairwoman of Holladay Water Company in Holladay.
Holladay Water Company, a private water operator with 4,000 connections, for years legally challenged the authority of the Salt Lake County Health Department to be able to force its company to add what she views as a nonpharmaceutical fluoride to its drinking water, Baird said.
"It's not good for children," Baird said of the fluoride being put in the water.