What Fluoridation is Safe

Did you know that fluoridated water contains extremely low, but highly beneficial amounts of fluoride?

Fluoridated water is safe drinking water.

Scientists and health professionals around the world support community water fluoridation and attest to its safety.  Drinking water is regulated at the federal, state and local levels.  The “Safe Drinking Water Act,” a federal law, ensures the quality and safety of Americans’ drinking water.  The Environmental Protection Agencey (EPA) sets very high standards for drinking water quality and oversees states, localities, and water suppliers.

The facts supporting the safety of fluoridated water are overwhelming.

  • Fluoride levels found in fluoridated water are well within the safe levels issued by the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) and EPA.
  • All water treatment additives, including fluoride, must meet strict quality standards and require testing and certificates from the American Water Works Association and the National Sanitation Foundation/American National Standards Institute – both nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations.

Fluoridation Safety

Opponents of fluoridation link fluorosis, often unnoticeable whitish spots on the surface of teeth, to drinking fluoridated water.  However, scientific research has found that most cases of fluorosis are caused by other sources, such as swallowing toothpaste. Toothpaste contains 1,000 to 1,500 times more fluoride than optimally fluoridated water.  Research shows that by drinking optimally fluoridated water (1 ppm), bone health also is improved.  Community water fluoridation does not affect water quality, and you can safely drink as much as you want. More than 180 million Americans consume fluoridated water with no negative health impacts.

“Since the 1950s, each U.S. Public Health Service Surgeon General has committed his or her support for community water fluoridation..”6

National Research Council Report

Fluoride is sometimes naturally present in water at much higher levels than those used for community water fluoridation.  A 2006 report, “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” issued by the National Research Council’s (NRC) Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water addressed the safety of those high levels of naturally-occurring fluoride in water in some areas of the country. It did not, however, address optimally fluoridated water (0.7 ppm) to prevent tooth decay. The report concluded that the current MCLG of 4 ppm should be lowered.

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that optimally fluoridated water significantly improves dental health.  The NRC report’s conclusions are consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) assessment that fluoridated water is safe and healthy at the optimal levels used for water fluoridation (0.7 ppm).