The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services said today that they will recommend lowering the levels of suggested fluoride in our water supplies.
Adding fluoride to public drinking water is considered one the great public health successes of the 20th century. Fluoride was added to water starting in the 1940’s, today 64 percent of Americans have it in their water supply, and children’s teeth have been healthier ever since.
But some people’s water supplies may have too much of a good thing, said the agencies today — causing kids tooth damage. Here’s what the new recommendations will be, and how you can check your own family’s supply:
The existing fluoride levels are supposed to be between .7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter of water. Now the EPA and the HHS say levels shouldn’t go above the lowest end of the range — .7 milligrams/liter.
With higher levels, some studies show that dentists are seeing as many as two out of five kids with white spots on their teeth — called “fluorosis.” And in rarer cases, the damage to teeth can be worse.
So fluoride is still our friend, the health agencies just want to make sure your family is getting the right amount. If you’re interested in checking your supply, you can look online at your city’s water utility information, or the CDC has a My Water’s Fluoride site that might provide some answers.
Have you checked into your water supply and, if so, what have you found?