As predicted last week, Pinellas County Commissioners just voted 6 to 1 to add fluoride back into public drinking water.
But it will not happen right away.
Technically, since the fluoridating injection equipment was never removed, it could be up and running by this weekend. It's already checked out and good to go.
But just like in 2003, when Pinellas began adding fluoride, the public has to be told the chemical additive is on the way.
They halted the fluoride last year by a vote of 4 to 3 after a different group of commissioners voted to remove it.
Notifying the public that fluoride will be back in the water supply includes written notices stuffed into two cycles of water bills, and that will consume at least the next three months.
Some people have medical reasons for avoiding fluoride, and on the flip side of that, anyone taking fluoride pills will have to stop doing so.
But sometime in early March, after the notices have been mailed out, fluoride will be back in Pinellas County water.
It is still a controversial move, though: fluoride opponents flooded the commission chambers this afternoon and registered their concerns for more than two hours.
Some of them make very good arguments based on scientific research, but in science one has to consider the total volume of research and at some point decide which side has the most data. The medical establishment decided long ago the weight of the evidence favors fluoridating water to reduce tooth decay.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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