Duxbury: Lead in the water

Who thought fluoride in the water carried lead? It seems,  it does. Duxbury has added it to the public water supply since 1986. Now, some people want it removed.

Fluoride improves dental health and dentists led the decision to add it to the public water supply in 1985. A single vote of Town Meeting that year ordered the water department to begin adding element.

But, the fluoride compound the water department buys also contains lead, an element harmful to brain development in the young and skeletal health in the elderly. The level of lead in the water tests far below the clean water standards set by the federal and state governments. A group of concerned residents says fluoride exists naturally in foods, that Duxbury’s dental health is excellent and that no level of lead in the water should be tolerated.

The group has found undoing that Town Meeting vote difficult.
The health board will consider ordering the fluoride/lead compound removed Thursday. Town Meeting on Saturday will consider a complicated process of petitioning the state to allow the town to remove it.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.