Should Austin reconsider its decades-long practice of adding fluoride to the city’s water supply?

That will be the question coming this afternoon before two Austin City Council committees, the Public Utilities Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee. They won’t make a final decision today, but these committees could make a recommendation to the full City Council.

The previous City Council was not swayed by fluoride critics. Numerous scientific studies say that fluoridating drinking water at the level the city of Austin does is safe and is one of the best ways to combat tooth decay, the most common chronic disease among children and adolescents.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts water fluoridation, which was done for the first time by a Michigan city in 1945, among the greatest public health advances in the past century.

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