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Effort to remove fluoride from Green Bay’s drinking water resurfaces

Green Bay’s Protection and Policy committee will hold a special meeting on October 8 to discuss the fluoride issue.
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - There's a renewed effort in Green Bay to eliminate fluoride in the drinking water. 

Action 2 News first reported in 2017, the city took up the issue after Brenda Staudenmaier, along with a handful of other individuals and nonprofits, petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to have fluoride removed from the drinking water. 

It was ultimately rejected by the EPA and the city council voted to keep fluoride in the city’s drinking water. 

Now, Staudenmaier is bringing the issue up again after a federal judge ruled this week the plaintiffs could resubmit the petition to the EPA, adding updated research. 

“The judge is holding off ruling at this time because there was so much evidence that came forward that has been published since 2017 when we originally filed the lawsuit,” said Staudenmaier. 

The case is being heard in the Northern District of California and the plaintiffs have until November to update the petition. 

“We have more studies now on fluoride that demonstrate the neurotoxicity than we have ever had in the history of neurotoxicity on lead,” said Staudenmaier. “He [the judge] would also like us to add some pregnant mothers and mothers formula feeding their infants.” 

“I think it’s making a public health issue into a political issue and I don’t think that’s ever a good way to make decisions unfortunately,” said Matt Crespin, Associate Director of the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin. 

The organization is an advocate for fluoridation, citing health benefits. 

“Communities that don’t fluoridate their water, they are shown to have 25 percent greater dental needs than communities that do. So, it’s a very simple and cost effective way to provide a great benefit to the community,” said Crespin. 

Spokespeople for the Green Bay Water Utility say they will continue to follow scientists and researchers behind the EPA and CDC which support fluoride in the water.

The state standard level for fluoride is .7 ppm. According to the water utility’s latest tap water test, fluoride levels are at .65ppm. 

Green Bay’s Protection and Policy committee will hold a special meeting on October 8 to discuss the fluoride issue.

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