Message from…

Oloph K. Granath, DDS &
Tara Kelly, Practice Manager

Community Water Fluoridation in Sonoma County

Sonoma County is considering implementing Community Water Fluoridation (CWF).  This alert is intended to apprise you of the issue and also offer some thoughts for your consideration.  It is my hope that you will make an informed decision and offer feedback to those in control of our public water.  Included in this email are several links for references and contact information.

As I’m sure many of you are aware, I am not in favor of CWF. Even if the proponents were able to prove both safety and effectiveness, there remains the matter of personal choice.  My native country of
Sweden rescinded CWF in 1971.  The motion to repeal included the following concerns: 1) Fluoride effects on, but not limited to, the skeleton, bone, and kidney function. 2) Inability to control individual dose, 3) Compelling mass medication and an infringement on individual privacy 4) Individuals with allergies to fluoride lacked control to prevent a reaction.

It is ironic that their opinion included an infringement on individual liberty and here, in the United States, that has generally been overruled.

Fluoridated Water in Sonoma County History
Healdsburg is the only city in Sonoma County that is fluoridated. It has been fluoridated for over 60 years.
A November 2014 Survey, conducted by the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, indicated that there was no statistical difference between fluoridated and non-fluoridated Sonoma County.  In the limited reporting done about the results of this survey, the reporter seemed to be unaware of its’ lack of success and money spent without results.

During 60 years of water fluoridation, neither Sonoma County nor the city of Healdsburg made any studies to validate the benefit of this program.

As reported in the Press Democrat, the initial costs for community water fluoridation were estimated at approximately $8.5 million for capital upgrades and then $973,000 per year for operations.  These costs have since been “re-worked” to ZERO in expenditures for capital upgrades and $587,000 each year to add the chemical fluoride.  It is difficult to believe that there would be no costs to prepare our utility equipment for the addition of this chemical. In fact, the Fluoridation Advisory Committee reported that they reviewed the Engineering Design in December 2014 and noted a capital cost of $4.5 million, which conflicts with the reporting by the Press Democrat.
Steps To Improve Oral Health In the Community

I am concerned about the overall oral health of our community. And I am certain that there are several superior methods for addressing the prevention of dental caries. 

  • Educating individuals on proper techniques in brushing, flossing and nutrition will go a long way in overcoming dental decay. 
  • Regular visits to the dentist for cleanings, exams, and oral health counseling and support should be emphasized throughout our community. 
  • Increasing the use of outreach programs to connect with those at the highest risk of suffering from tooth decay should be a priority. 
  • Our dental hygiene education program at Santa Rosa Junior College could offer an opportunity to provide both patients for students as well as an additional resource for those in need.  
  • And for those who choose fluoride, it can be provided via, 1) topical application at dental visits, 2) fluoride trays for home use, 3) fluoride tablets/drops by prescription, or 4) fluoride toothpastes/rinses.  We are not lacking in the ability to obtain fluoride.  It is in numerous products that are used by many people on a daily basis.

I welcome your feedback and questions. Thank you very much for your time and consideration in evaluating this serious issue. 

Below are links and contact information that you may find helpful, as well as a link to a brief survey.

Board of Supervisors – Sonoma County

Contact Information:
Susan Gorin 1st District:
David Rabbitt 2nd District:
Shirley Zane 3rd District:
James Gore 4th District:
Efren Carillo 5th District:

WRITE: The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors c/o Susan Gorin, Chairperson County Administration Center, 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

CALL: 707-565-2241