PORTLAND The fluoride debate drew a huge crowd to a Northeast Portland community center Wednesday night, with about a month left before voters decide whether it should be added to their drinking water.

So many people showed up at the meeting that some were turned away because there wasn't enough space. Supporters and critics argued that facts were on their side.

Every surgeon general in the last 60 years has endorsed community water fluoridation, said Mike Plunkett of the group Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland. The Centers for Disease Control, National Academy of Sciences, I can go on.

These chemicals are not calcium fluoride, said Kellie Barnes, of Clean Water Portland. They re not even pharmaceutical fluoride, these are the bi-products of the phosphate industry.

Portland City Council voted for fluoridation in the fall. But an anti-fluoride group collected enough signatures to put it to a vote. Three previous votes have rejected it. Ballots will go out on May 3.

Related: City of Portland approves water fluoridation

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