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Aug. 21, 2012
WICHITA After lengthy discussion, Wichita City Council members today agreed to put the question of fluoridating the city's water on the November ballot for voters to decide.
Wichita is one of the largest cities in the nation that does not treat its water with fluoride. The additive is considered by public health experts to be an effective guard against tooth decay that poses no health risks when used correctly. But some members of the public still fear it. The question of fluoridating Wichita's water has been an issue off-and-on there for years.
The question came to the commission after a group of residents — Wichitans for Healthy Teeth — circulated a petition seeking that fluoride be added during the city's water treatment process. More than 8,000 signatures were collected in support of the initiative.
Supporters said the treatment could reduce tooth decay as much as 25 percent and save the city's residents millions of dollars a year in dental costs.
Spokespersons for two groups organized against the fluoridation drive have said the potential health risks of adding fluoride to the water are not fully understood.
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