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Fluoride in MWRA Drinking Water
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


On January 7, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a draft assessment and draft recommendations that the fluoride dose be lowered – for our region from 1.0 to 0.7 mg/L - based on the fact that there are now many other sources of fluoride. They indicated that the reduced dose will continue to provide dental protection while reducing the risk of mild dental fluorosis, the barely visible lacy white markings or spots on tooth enamel. A final recommendation was expected in spring 2011, but so far it is not finalized. MWRA will continue its practice of following the guidance of the HHS and will change its fluoride dose once the final recommendation is released.

Links for news and more information from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), US Envionmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

mwra annual water quality report
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Links for news and more information about fluoridation from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), US Envionmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Press release
MWRA Fluoride Source: USA March 12, 2010

MWRA maintains a target fluoride level of 1.0 ppm, as recommended by the CDC, MDPH, ADA, and WHO.  MWRA has added fluoride for over 30 years, and continuously monitors the levels. The strong position on fluoridation taken by the CDC, one of the world’s leading public health institutions, is important to understanding MWRA’s addition of fluoride to reduce tooth decay and promote community public health.

CDC published a report, Ten Great Public Health Achievements — United States 1900-1999, that listed fluoridation of public water supplies to reduce dental cavities as one of the leading public health achievements of the entire century.

The summary of CDC’s views is included in the document: Achievements in Public Health, 1900 to 1999: Fluoridation to Prevent Dental Cavities.  The CDC is highly regarded for their scientific expertise and objectivity, and it is important to us that their position on fluoridation is unequivocal.
Our approach is reinforced by the views of other organizations with strong public health and medical credentials that also support fluoridation including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, World Health Organization, and the American Dental Association.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets fluoride standards to guard drinking water safety. For fluoride, 4.0 parts per million is the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, the level below which there is no known or expected risk to health.

MWRA is aware that a number of people across the country are raising questions about fluoride in drinking water. MWRA intends to keep an open-minded view on any matters of technical competency, and we will pay close attention to competing viewpoints. But it is doubtful that MWRA’s position will change so long as the CDC, MDPH, and others continue to support fluoridation and its benefits.


HHS and EPA Announce New Scientific Assessments and Actions on Fluoride (HHS)

Proposed HHS Reccomendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for Dental Caries

Fluoride Risk Assessment and Relative Source Contribution

Fact Sheet: Community Water Fluoridation (CDC)

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Updated January 7, 2015