Fluoridation Debate Continues in Clark County

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SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (AP) — City officials in central Ohio are considering fluoridating the municipal water supply to combat poor dental health.

The Springfield News-Sun reports Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson urges Springfield city commissioners to allow a referendum vote in November on fluoridating the water supply.

A state Department of Health study says about two-thirds of children in Clark County has experienced tooth decay. Patterson says the chief complaint among patients at Springfield Regional Medical Center’s emergency room in 2015 was oral health-related pain.

Patterson says fluoridation is safe and “the most effective way to prevent oral health decay.”

Opponents of the measure say fluoridation is harmful and the county should instead focus on expanding dental coverage for Medicaid patients.

Ballot initiatives for the November election must be filed by Aug. 8.