New York

Buffalo residents suing city for not fluoridating water

BUFFALO, NY — Buffalo residents are filing a class action lawsuit after learning the city stopped fluoridating water as of June 22, 2015.

Attorney Robert Corp is representing the plaintiffs who are concerned about their young children. Corp said they will take advantage of the Green Amendment, ratified into the New York State Constitution in January 2022, which promises people the right to a “healthy environment.” He said the city violated that right by not telling people its water wasn’t fluoridated.

“We think that given the clarity of the science and the guidance from the New York State Department of Health and Human Services, the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] At the federal level and the World Health Organization, that healthy water includes fluoridation,” said Corp.

Councilor Rasheed Wyatt also expressed concern, saying the Buffalo Water Board should have been more transparent about the situation.

“I have the 2021 annual report and it talks about fluoride in there, but nowhere does it clearly show where fluoride is not present. I mean look at that, it’s tiny you know? I want my readers to read it,” Wyatt said while holding up the report.

The city said it will start water fluoridation again by the end of the year and declined to comment on the lawsuit.

last month when spectrum news 1 addressed the Water Board, Chairperson Oluwole A. McFoy, PE replied in a statement:

“Buffalo is committed to fluoridating our drinking water, which is why we’ve invested over $1 million to study and improve our current system. The project was supposed to be completed a few years ago, but like many other things has been slowed down during the pandemic and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Buffalo Water’s role as a public health provider is to ensure safe drinking water for all of our residents. We initially shelved the fluoride conversion project out of caution due to water quality concerns related to lead and corrosion control. We partnered with the University of Buffalo to develop a state-of-the-art tube loop laboratory where they studied optimization of the treatment process over several years and concluded in November 2019 that: “The results provide strong statistical evidence that the addition of FSA (fluorosilicic acid) does not lead to increased lead leaching.'”

Additionally, a statement on page six of the Buffalo Water Authority’s 2021-2022 Water Quality Report states:

“Our system is one of many drinking water systems in New York State that provides drinking water with a controlled, low fluoride content to protect consumers’ dental health. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), fluoride is very effective in preventing tooth decay when it is present in drinking water in a properly controlled amount. There is currently a pause in fluoride addition due to ongoing capital improvements related to upgrades to our fluoride system. Fluoride has not been added to your drinking water as of June 22, 2015 and we do not expect fluoride additions to resume until various capital projects are completed. You may wish to discuss this with your family dentist to see if another form of fluoride supplementation should be considered for your mouthguard.”

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