Block Talk


Every week, the Vanguard asks people around the South Park Blocks a question of the week.

It was recently announced that the City of Portland will add fluoride to public water by 2014 unless the vote is overturned.

How do you feel about fluoride being added to our water supply?

“I think that from where I’m from, the water quality in general is much better. In Arizona, once the water gets [there], it’s not as good, so you can’t really drink as much water out of the faucet. So you get a lot more mountain water,” said 23-year-old senior psychology major
Ashley Dennis. “So, fluoride: I’m not super concerned about it, considering where I’m from. There’s a lot more things in the water that would hurt you, but given it’s a problem to have too much. I’m grateful to have cleaner water being up here.”

Satish Jhawar, a 22-year-old freshman economics major, expressed opposition to water fluoridation. “It causes deadly illnesses—like it destroys the gum site in the teeth and causes a lot of troubles—so we can’t intake food properly, which causes biological organs inside the body to get harmed.”

“Personally, I do not have a problem with fluoride being in the water, because I don’t think it’s actually going to really affect people very much,” said 23-year-old Postsecondary Adult and Continuing Education graduate student Paul Braun. “I don’t know enough about the protests or the dislike enough to know why people don’t like it, but for me it’s not a problem.”

Kristen Carangi is a 23-year-old sophomore sociology major from Philadelphia, a city that fluoridates its water supply. She said, “From what I understand, it has benefits for dental health, and they give you fluoride treatments at the dentist. And growing up, I never had a cavity and never had any real tooth problems, so I sort of support it because I think it serves a viable social function.”

“I think if they put fluoride in the water, it’s probably for a benefit,” said 18-year-old freshman biology major Donovan Odom. “I’m from the desert and it’s really hard to get water out there, so they put fluoride in our water out in Southern California—and, I mean, it’s not really a big deal if you think about it.”

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