Fighting the latest challenge to fluoridation in Oregon

D. I. Rosenstein, R. Isman, T. Pickles, C. Benben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Antifluoridationists have recently renewed their attempts to stop or prevent the fluoridation of community water supplies. In Oregon, for example, a measure that would have prohibited communities throughout the State from fluoridating their water supplies was placed on the ballot by petition in a 1976 State election. The proponents of fluoridation in the State, surprised by this success of their opponents, then mounted a campaign and the antifluoridation measure was defeated. Factors contributing in this defeat were the smooth coordination and organization of the fluoridation proponents, which prevented serious mistakes on their part and permitted them to take advantage of their opponents' errors. These errors included the citation of a 1973 statute (rather than an amended 1975 statute) in the title of the antifluoridation measure, a technical flaw in the measure so that its passage would have resulted in the repeal of some antipollution levels and potential health hazards, and the failure of the antifluoridationists to appear at a hearing on statements that were to be published in a pamphlet for voters. As the recent antifluoridation activity in Oregon suggests, proponents of fluoridation need to be prepared at any time to meet the challenges posed by antifluoridationists. Such preparation should include: Careful monitoring of antifluoridation activities. An expensive campaign in support of fluoridation might be avoided by insuring that whenever attempts are made to place antifluoridation measures on the ballot, all pertinent rules and regulations are followed. Maintenance of a standby committee to educate the public and respond to any attempts to pass antifluoridation legislation. Experience gained by working together on such a committee in advance of an election campaign can be invaluable. Keeping a trained group of speakers ready to educate the community. An effective speakers bureau can stimulate interest in promoting fluoridation as well as help prevent antifluoridation measures from passing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-72
Number of pages4
JournalPublic health reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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