On April 27, 2015 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final Public Health Services recommendation for the optimal Fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. The new recommendation of 0.7 replaced the previous recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter (mg/l). This standard differs from the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) established maximum contaminant level (MCL).
The EPA’s MCL of 4.0 mg/l is set to a level to protect against either short-term or long-term health risks, while the HHS’s recommendation reflects the optimal level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.
Explanation for Changes
The change was recommended because Americans now have access to more sources of fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouth rinses, than they did when water fluoridation was first introduced in the United States. The new recommended level will maintain the protective decay prevention benefits of water fluoridation and reduce the occurrence of dental fluorosis.
As shown in the Drinking Water Standards report the FKAA has continually remained within the HHS recommendations and will continue to adhere to their recommendations.
Additional information about Community Water Fluoridation: