Fluoride opponents say it will raise arsenic levels

FILE - Kathleen Courian-Sanchez shows here sentiments during a City Council vote at City Hall on whether to add fluoride to city water in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. The City Council approved a plan Wednesday to add fluoride to Portland's water, meaning Oregon's biggest city is no longer the largest holdout in the U.S. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
FILE - Kathleen Courian-Sanchez shows here sentiments during a City Council vote at City Hall on whether to add fluoride to city water in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ballots are going out this week to decide the fate of fluoridation in Portland.

The group Clean Water Portland has campaigned hard to to keep fluoride out of the Multnomah County water supply. They say adding fluoride will raise levels of other chemicals in the water too.

Fluoridation list
A list compiled by KOIN 6 News of Oregon cities with and without fluoridated water. (April 25, 2013 | KOIN 6 News)

One of them is arsenic.

The EPA has set the arsenic standard for drinking water at .010 parts per million (10 parts per billion). It’s not clear how much arsenic could be added via Portland’s fluoridation plan.

“The only thing more insulting than knowingly adding chemicals into the drinking water,” said Kimberly Kaminski with Clean Water Portland, “is that they are going to raise our rates to do it.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that adding fluoride to drinking water does not pose a health risk. However, that is hotly debated.

Portland is the largest city in the country that does not use it as a way to reduce cavities.

Ballots for the May 21 special election start going out Friday.

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