Thursday, April 19, 2012


I used to be the ostensible fluoridation engineer for in my home state.  I’m not actively involved in fluoridation any more, but I still follow news about it.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed to change the optimized water fluoride concentration from a range of 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L to a simply 0.7 mg/L (Federal Register 76:9:2383).  About the same time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a dose-response study on the noncancer effects of fluoride.

So far, their have been no regulatory changes.  After completing its review of fluoride, EPA could change the regulatory maximum contaminant level (MCL) if it deems it necessary.  Even without a regulatory change, DHHS is expected to publish a final recommendation on optimal fluoride concentrations in drinking water and publish revisions to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Engineering and Administrative Recommendations for Water Fluoridation.


  1. I remember when our city briefly stopped fluoridating water with little warning, and you did a great interview with a local newspaper about the importance of fluoridation for dental care. In the interview, you mentioned that you were actually on the way to the dentist to have a cavity filled, possibly the result of the lack of fluoridation in our water supply. Your comments and real-life example did a great job of framing the issue and providing perspective on a complex issue.

  2. Thanks for you kind comment. You have a long memory if you remember that interview. I suppose it might still be accessible on the internet. For other readers who are interested in fluoridation in their own water systems, it's easy to find out if your system is fluoridated by calling your your state drinking water agency. If you're interested in starting fluoridation, see if your state has an oral health program, probably housed in the the health department. They will typically be able to provide you information on fluoridation and possibly other assistance.