A petition that would stop the city of Durango from adding
fluoride to its drinking water appears to have enough signatures,
and now it will either be adopted by the Durango City Council
within 30 days or left for voters to decide in the April
Amy Phillips, director of administrative services for the city
clerk’s office, said Tuesday the office is verifying each
signature, but it appears the petition received the required 593
signatures. Jim Forleo, a Durango resident who started the petition
in November, estimated 800 signatures were collected.
“For all practical purposes, yes it looks like the petition
received the sufficient amount of signatures,” Phillips said.
Phillips on Jan. 17 will present the petition to the Durango
City Council, which has 30 days to decide either to adopt the
ordinance to remove fluoride from drinking water or let voters
decide in April.
Forleo, a local chiropractor who has long criticized the city’s
fluoride program, said a large part of collecting signatures the
past few months was educating residents about what he believes are
the potentially harmful effects of adding fluoride to drinking
“We found a lot of people either didn’t know about it or just
accepted it as something that’s been around for 70 years, without
really knowing the detrimental aspects of it,” Forleo said. “But in
the last several years, a lot of that information has been
surfacing, and we are really becoming over-fluorided to death.”
Durango City Councilor Dick White said the council is likely to
place the matter up for a vote in April, having consistently voiced
support for fluoridation in drinking water, which the city says
promotes oral health care for low-income residents.
“At this point, my expectation is we will put it on the ballot,”
he said. “I really think it’s the appropriate action of the city of
Durango to continue this service as recommended by the National
Health Service because it’s protective of the oral health for
everyone in this community, especially our disadvantaged
Communities around the country began an effort to stop
fluoridating water when the federal government around 2007
cautioned about the risks of excessive fluoride consumption, which
it said can lead to dental fluorosis.
Since 2010, the Fluoride Action Network reports 3.5 million
residents throughout 64 North American communities have rejected
the practice of fluoridating water, including Telluride; Montrose;
Pagosa Springs; Albuquerque; Portland, Oregon; and Wichita,