While the city of Kodiak does not use fluoride in its drinking water, Base Kodiak had used it until work at the Buskin Lake pumping station forced fluoridation to stop.
“It was planned to bring fluoride back online when we had the ability to do so,” said Edward DeNoyelles, a Base Kodiak environmental protection specialist in charge of the base’s drinking water.
Water fluoridation, which reduces tooth decay, is a controversial subject with people who believe there is a hidden health threat in fluoridated water.
The biggest health threat revealed by reliable medical studies is the possibility of white spots developing on the teeth of infants already receiving extra fluoride in their formula.
In a letter sent to the Kodiak Island Borough School district, Frederick Miller, head of Base Kodiak’s environmental branch, advises parents with infants to use fluoride-free formula or formula mixed with distilled water.
DeNoyelles says the Coast Guard medical office supports water fluoridation, and decisions on fluoridation are made at the national level.
“We take direction from the Coast Guard headquarters folks,” he said. “It was based on their science and reasons why.”
The Coast Guard water system supplies about 3,000 customers located west of Deadman’s Curve, where bedrock blocks a connection to the city of Kodiak’s water system.
Coast Guard housing, Kodiak State Airport, Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge headquarters and Samson Tug and Barge docks began receiving fluoridated water on July 25.