Letter: Agree to disagree

Agree to disagree

Like all debates that take place within small communities, we are once again faced with the challenge of standing in opposition to our friends and neighbors in Snowmass. We are each invested in our beliefs of what may be best for our own health, happiness and freedoms. Whether persuaded by facts, or opinions, we must respect one another and work toward the most diplomatic and agreeable compromise. I urge the Snowmass Water Board to recognize that there is a fair compromise in the debate over fluoridated drinking water, and that is to support fluoridation as the most effective way to provide good oral hygiene for all of our residents, especially the young, and allow those who wish to remove fluoride from their own drinking water supply to filter it out of their own homes. It can be removed, but it can not be added. There is no way to consume a safe amount of fluoride on a personal level without fluoridated drinking water, which has been proven safe, effective and progressive.

A reverse osmosis filter system will remove fluoride in your home, and distillers are relatively inexpensive. Those worried about the lack of minerals in distilled water can purchase minerals to add back, but fluoride can not be added. It is also important to consider the fact that there is fluoride in most processed foods and beverages. It isn’t required to be labeled in the U.S. If you would like to look into this for yourself please call and request to know the content of fluoride in your products … including bottled spring water.

Fluoride occurs naturally in water in some parts of the country, including many places throughout the Western United States; and it was found in the 1940s that people in these areas who drank their own natural source water regularly had better oral health.

I have personally enjoyed the benefits of having grown up here in Snowmass Village with fluoridated drinking water, which has been the consistent practice here throughout my entire childhood and I have not — yet — had a single cavity. And now that I am raising my own children here I am very disappointed to have to take our water bottles into Aspen everyday so that my children can benefit from the healthy fluoridated Aspen drinking water. I want my children to have the opportunity to have healthy teeth just like their friends who live in Aspen. However, I can appreciate the concerns of those who want the freedom to drink water without fluoride, and I always welcome a debate. Fortunately on this issue there is a compromise that we can all live with. Filters for those who wish and fluoride for those who want good oral health.

Britta Gustafson

Snowmass Village


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