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ADA Statement on Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards

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Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

Chicago, March 22, 2006—The American Dental Association (ADA) emphasizes that the just-released report on fluoride by the National Academies' National Research Council only addresses the levels of naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water that exceed the EPA's current recommendations. The report in no way examines or calls into question the safety of community water fluoridation, which is the process of adding fluoride to public water supplies to reach an optimal level of 0.7 - 1.2 ppm in order to protect people against tooth decay. One part per million is the equivalent to about one cent in $10,000. The ADA continues to endorse community water fluoridation as a vital public health measure.

The report, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standard, concludes that the Environmental Protection Agency's maximum fluoride goal of 4 ppm should be lowered to protect the public's health . Just over 200,000 Americans live in communities where fluoride levels in drinking water are 4 ppm or higher. It is crucial to note that the 4 ppm concentration of fluoride is nearly four times the optimum amount recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADA to prevent tooth decay.

The ADA is a strong supporter of community water fluoridation, cited by the CDC as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, as a safe, beneficial and cost-effective way to prevent tooth decay in children and adults.

The science-based ADA welcomes new information on the topic of fluoride and its effect on the public's health. For more about community water fluoridation, visit www.ada.org/goto/fluoride and for additional information on the fluoride report, visit www.nationalacademies.org

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.