Fluoride to go back into Pinellas County water supply

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Commissioners in Pinellas County have voted to add fluoride back into the county's water supply, capping a yearlong debate over whether adding the chemical is beneficial for fighting tooth decay or toxic and an affront to personal liberty.

The commission voted 6-1 on Tuesday to add it back into the water. It was removed in Oct. 2011.

Two new commissioners were elected in November and ran on a pro-fluoride platform, and that's why the board reversed its decision.

The Oct. 2011 move affected some 700,000 people and touched off a political controversy that pitted dentists and orthodontists against people who feel fluoride is harmful, even toxic and that the county shouldn't pay for residents' personal health decisions.

About 100 people attended Tuesday's meeting.

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