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What does the EPA say about fluoride?

by adminjay

Posted & filed under Fluoride and Public Health, What the Experts Say about Fluoride.

Like any vitamin or trace element, fluoride in water must be properly balanced for maximum benefit to prevent tooth decay. The recommended amount of fluoride in water is currently 0.7 parts per million, a level that prevents both cavities and fluorosis. Although fluoride occurs naturally in all water, in the U.S. it rarely exceeds the recommended amount. Most water systems add fluoride to bring the level up to the amount that has been proven to prevent tooth decay. Who is responsible for setting these limits?

The Safe Drinking Water Act regulates drinking water and sets standards to ensure its safety. This Act also gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authority to set firm limits on the amount of fluoride in drinking water since, in some areas, natural fluoride sometimes occurs at levels high enough to cause dental fluorosis. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reviews scientific evidence and recommends an appropriate fluoride level, taking into account all our sources of fluoride.

The EPA’s role in administering the Safe Drinking Water Act is to make sure that trace elements of any kind in drinking water do not exceed carefully determined levels. When it comes to fluoride, EPA is the agency in charge of ensuring that drinking water treatment plants in the U.S. meet these standards.

Under the language of the drinking water act, the EPA regulates fluoride in water as a “contaminant”. Does that mean EPA opposes fluoride for oral health? No! The EPA recognizes the benefits of fluoride and fluoridation. EPA staff collaborate with agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study both past and emerging science on fluoride and fluoridation.

As a scientific agency EPA recognizes the benefits of fluoridated water and fluoride toothpaste to oral health, providing resources to the public in the service of providing safe drinking water and expert guidance.

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