Fluoride will no longer be added to Prince George, B.C.'s tap water after a unanimous city council vote on Monday night.
The controversial decision comes one month after a referendum came out in favour of ending the practice, Global News reports.
"I know the dental community will be disappointed and I think some in the medical community will be disappointed, but we put it to a fair vote and I'll be supporting it," said Coun. Murry Krause, according to CBC News.
There has long been debate surrounding the benefits and pitfalls of fluoridation, which is done to help prevent tooth decay.
In November, the chief medical officer for Northern Health, Dr. William Osei, argued the importance of fluoride in drinking water, highlighting that Health Canada itself approves of the practice. Osei added that “everyone benefits from fluoridation — especially children and those with low income.”
Calgary dental offices reported an increase in child cavities since their city stopped fluoridating in 2011.
But critics say exposure to the chemical is doing more harm than good. In March, the City of Prince George was sued because residents said the fluoride gave them dental fluorosis (the discolouration of tooth enamel).
Prince George has been fluoridating its water since 1955, said CBC. Only a handful of B.C. cities still do it.
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