Facts About Fluoride
Fairfax Water adds fluoride to drinking water at the request of, and in accordance with recommendations from, federal and state public health agencies. On January 7, 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended that water utilities lower the level of fluoride in drinking water from a range of 0.7 - 1.2 parts per million (ppm) to a single target of 0.7 ppm. Fairfax Water’s current treatment target for fluoride is 0.7 ppm. Fairfax Water stands ready to respond to further guidance from the regulatory community.
For more information about the HHS recommendation, click here. For information from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding fluoride in drinking water, click here. For more information about Fairfax Water’s water quality, click here.
The addition of fluoride to drinking water is a decision that is usually made at a community level. In Fairfax Water's case, we are no different. Fluoride is being added to the drinking water supply at the urging of the State Department of Health and at the request of the communities we serve. Its addition serves no purpose in the water treatment process. It is added to serve a public health goal.
The issues regarding the benefits of adding fluoride to the drinking water have been debated for a number of years. The addition of fluoride to drinking water was identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as one of the top ten health achievements of the 20th century. You may read more about CDC's perspective and the history of the fluoridation of drinking water at the following links: http://www.cdc.gov/about/history/tengpha.htm, http://www.cdc.gov/about/history/tengpha.htm, and http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4841a1.htm.
In 2006, the National Academies (NAS) undertook a study of the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level of Fluoride in drinking water. The study concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency should conduct further evaluations of its Primary Maximum Contaminant Level for Fluoride (which is 4 parts per million) and that the Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level of 2 parts per million is safe. You can learn more about the NAS study here.
Fairfax Water's target for the addition of fluoride is 0.7 parts per million.