The American Dental Association (ADA) commends the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its scientifically sound decision today to deny a request to ban community water fluoridation.
Hundreds of communities across the country optimally fluoridate their water supplies, providing an estimated 211 million people with increased protection from dental disease.
In November of last year, a group opposed to community water fluoridation petitioned the EPA with a request that the agency ban the addition of fluoridating chemicals to drinking water. The petitioners claimed that the level of fluoride used by communities across the nation negatively affects IQs.
EPA scientists denied the petition, noting in their official justification that,
"the petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S."
The EPA justification, published Feb. 27 in the Federal Register, noted principles associated with sound science:
"When an association is suggested between an exposure and a disease outcome, the studies need to be assessed to determine whether the effect is truly because of exposure or if alternate explanations are possible. The way to do that is to adjust for potential confounders, such as diet, behavior, and socioeconomic status [...]"
"It is always heartening when our government comes down on the side of sound science," said ADA President Gary Roberts. "Public health policy recommending community water fluoridation results from years of scientifically rigorous analysis of the amount of fluoride people receive from all sources.
"Water fluoridation is effective and safe," Dr. Roberts said. "Today's decision by the EPA is based on solid science."
The ADA's website has more information on the benefits of community water fluoridation (www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation).
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 161,000 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 ADA.org
For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org