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Environment

Fluoride Levels In Water Lowered

by Jessica Morrison
May 4, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 18

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Credit: Shutterstock
The federal government has tightened the levels of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962.
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Credit: Shutterstock
The federal government has tightened the levels of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962.

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Department of Health & Human Services has changed the recommended concentration of fluoride in drinking water. New guidance from the U.S. Public Health Service recommends 0.7 mg/L rather than the previous range of 0.7 mg/L to 1.2 mg/L. The change affects more than 12,000 communities that add fluoride to their drinking water supply to prevent dental cavities. The recommendation updates and replaces the agency’s 1962 Drinking Water Standards for community water fluoridation. The change comes as data suggest that fluoride is now available to Americans from several sources, including toothpastes, mouth rinses, and dietary supplements, the agency says. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association issued statements in support of the updated guidelines. Excess fluoride in drinking water can cause dental fluorosis, a condition that can cause noticeable white stains or pits on the teeth.

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