By MATT YORK/Montana State News

The City Commission listened to arguments on March 26, about whether or not to keep putting fluoride into the city’s water. The topic has become a hot button issue in the past weeks with the rise of awareness of the fluoridating of Bozeman’s water supply, causing some activists to even push for a vote to have fluoride removed from the water.

Opponents of fluoridating the water argue that the chemical is toxic, and that old studies should be thrown out for being outdated. Opponents also claim the act is both immoral and unethical, citing that citizens were not given a choice on whether or not the water should have fluoride put in it.

Proponents of fluoride in the water supply argue that many dentists and doctors still advocate the putting of fluoride in the water, claiming the health effects are actually good; with studies showing that cities with fluoride in their water have the least amount of health issues, especially dental issues, in the country.

Fluoride has been used in Bozeman’s water supply since 1959, and currently six other cities other than Bozeman continue to put fluoride in their water: Chester, Colstrip, Hardin, Laurel, Miles City and Scobey; with cities like Billings consistently voting away fluoride out of their water.

Since the fluoride debate began, over three hundred cities who previously had fluoride in their water have dropped it from their reserves, citing health concerns from their populace.

Now that the arguments from both sides have been heard by the City Commission, the issue will be put to a vote at their regular meeting, April 23, 2012.

Edited by Angie Ford.