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Petition Formed to Stop Fluoridation of Dade Water

News Editor

When Barbara Tillery learned about the fluoridation of tap water, a standard practice in most counties in the United States, she became concerned about fluoride’s possible links to cancer and other health problems. She began an online petition about the fluoridation of Dade County water.

Per the American Cancer Society’s website, “Water fluoridation began in some parts of the United States in 1945, after scientists noted that people living in areas with higher water fluoride levels had fewer cavities. Starting in 1962, the United States Public Health Service (PHS) recommended that public water supplies contain fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.”

The society’s webpage then discusses studies surrounding fluoride and cancer, noting that most studies have not found a strong link to cancer. Studies included phrases like, “evidence…is tentative and mixed,” “insufficient to demonstrate a carcinogenic effect,” and, “optimal fluoridation of drinking water does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans.”

However, a 2019 scientific review published by the National Library of Medicine discussed neurotoxicity and fluoride. It reads, “The recent epidemiological results support the notion that elevated fluoride intake during early development can result in IQ deficits that may be considerable.”

A separate 2018 article published by the library, notes, “The only known association with low fluoride intake is the risk of dental caries.”

Other documents and websites note that fluoride is an endocrine/hormone disruptor.

The question of freedom and government overstepping its bounds is also part of the issue. Sherri Walker, general manager of the Dade County Water & Sewer Authority, said, “To me, it’s the water authorities that over-fluoridate that are causing an issue. It is a caustic chemical, and from my understanding, it should be administered by a medical professional.”

Some people in the U.S. note this as a reason to stop fluoridation, regardless of health concerns. In Walker’s words, “We’re dosing the water without [medical] credentials.”

Dade’s water authority did not begin fluoridation until the 1980s, as explained by Frank Hawkins (plant manager). He recalled that in the early 80s, Doug Anderton (general manager at the time) did a straw poll asking residents if they wanted fluoride to be added to Dade’s water. They did.

Walker explained that once fluoridation begins, it is required by the state unless a community votes against it. In order for the issue to make it to a ballot, a petition must be signed by 10% of the county’s registered voters.

The official 2021 Georgia Code reads, “A referendum petition to remove the county from the statutory requirement of fluoridation of public water must be signed by 10% of the registered voters who actually voted in the election, did not violate the constitutional rights of the petitioners to equal protection and the right to vote.”

Living just across the state line in Alabama, Tillery is not a Dade County resident, but she is connected to the Dade water system, as are several nearby areas in Tennessee and Alabama. She began the petition, accessible at, so that Dade residents could sign it if they desired.

Tillery is not alone in her concerns about the chemical, with websites such as the Fluoride Action Network ( presenting information about the topic.

According to Walker, “We’ve had a couple people ask us about fluoride.” Hawkins added, “The state regulation is between 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. We’ve been adding it for about 40 years now, and this question comes up about once every two years or so.”

According to Walker and Hawkins, the water authority is happy to do whatever the community wants. Walked noted, “I talked to EPD (Environmental Protection Division), and they said they don’t have a dog in the race. They said it’s entirely up to your county. It’s up to the people. If they want to get rid of it, they just tell us. We don’t have a say in it one way or the other.”

Walker and Hawkins looked into the cost of fluoridation to see if removing the extra step would save the authority money, but costing just over $500 a year, the savings would be minimal.

Walker concluded, “Once a water authority starts putting it in, it takes the community to say stop, and we’re okay with that. It’s one less step they have to do at the plant, and it would be a small saving for the water authority.”

Tillery said, “They say toothpaste is the best way [to use fluoride]. If people want it, they’ve got other sources to get it. My hope is to bring awareness to the dangers of fluoride. There’s no way to regulate the fluoride you’re consuming from water.”


  1. Fluoride is Over-Abundant in Foods, Beverages, Dental Products and more on March 24, 2023 at 6:31 am

    Fluoridation began with the mistaken belief that ingested fluoride was an essential nutrient which children’s teeth needed to form decay-resistant teeth beneath their gums that modern science disproved. Like all drugs, fluoride has adverse side effects and shouldn’t be prescribed by lobbied legislators, delivered by chemically treated water and dosed based on thirst and not age, health weight and need.

    Some may think they need fluoride. And there’s no dispute that too much fluoride is a bad thing. So people need to know that, absent from labels, fluoride is in virtually all foods and beverages, including, soda, baby foods and all infant formulas, It’s high in tea (up to 6 mg/L) and ocean fish. Grape products (raisins, juice, wine, jellies, jams) because of fluoride-containing pesticide residues.

    It’s even in chocolate and french fries.

    Fluoride ingested daily from toothpaste ranges from 1/4 to 1/3 milligram (National Institutes of Health) “Gels used by dentists are typically applied one to four times a year and can lead to ingestions of 1.3 to 31.2 mg fluoride each time.”

    Fluoride is in 20% of medicines, in food packaging and inhaled from air pollution

    How much is too much?

    According to the National Academy of Sciences, “without causing unwanted side effects including moderate dental fluorosis,” (yellow splotched teeth), the adequate daily intake of fluoride, from all sources, should not exceed: (But does)

    — 0.01 mg/day for 0 – 6-month-olds (which is in every infant formula – concentrated or not)

    — 0.5 mg/day for 7 through 12 months

    — 0.7 mg/day for 1 – 3-year-olds

    — 1.1 mg/day for 4 – 8 year olds

    The US Department of Health and Human Services (1991) estimated that total fluoride exposure in fluoridated communities ranges from 1.6 to 6.6 mg/day

    References hyperlinked here: FluorideDangers.

  2. Winifred Lee on December 25, 2023 at 11:28 am

    Stop fluoridation of our water supply!

  3. Ronney Lee on December 25, 2023 at 11:32 am

    Stop fluoridation of our water supply!

    • Shelly Turner on December 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

      Stop fluoridation of our water supply!

  4. Destiny Lancaster on December 26, 2023 at 1:06 pm

    Do not put this poison in our water!

  5. Sharon K Smith on December 26, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    Even tho in the 80’s it seems to be a good idea to add flour to our drinking water, after more info has been released it seems is more a detriment than a help. Please remove glourise from the list of additives in our drinking water.

  6. Bella Donna on December 27, 2023 at 6:38 am

    Please stop flotrinnation of our local water.

    Iss required by the state unless a community votes against it. In order for the issue to make it to a ballot, a petition must be signed by 10% of the county’s registered voters.

    If we need signatures of 10% of voting populous, how many is that?

    • Amanda Gamble on December 30, 2023 at 2:32 pm

      I definitely don’t want this in our water in Dade County!!

  7. Rachel phillip on January 8, 2024 at 7:30 am

    Stop floride in our water.PLEASE

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