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Fluoride in MWRA Drinking Water
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority


The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority is lowering the amount of fluoride added to the water it supplies in accordance with a new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

On April 27, 2015, the CDC released a recommendation that water suppliers reduce their fluoride dosage to 0.7 milligrams per liter (mg/l) from a range between 0.7 mg/l and 1.2 mg/l. According to the CDC, the dose is being lowered because Americans now receive fluoride from a variety of sources, other than just water, and the dental benefits can be achieved with a lower dose in water. 

“MWRA has been adding fluoride to the water for more than 30 years to reduce tooth decay and promote community public health,” said Fred Laskey, MWRA’s executive director. “Like most other water suppliers, we follow the recommendations of the CDC, as well as the World Health Organization and the American Dental Association. These are the public health experts and we look to them for guidance on this important issue.”

mwra annual water quality report
On this page
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 has adopted the new recommendation at its Carroll Water Treatment Plant, which serves 45 communities in eastern and metro west Massachusetts, including Boston.

Fluoride is not added to MWRA's three Chicopee Valley Aqueduct (CVA) communities: Chicopee, South Hadley and Wilbraham.

In 1999, 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 last century.



MWRA maintains a target fluoride level of 0.7 ppm, as recommended by the CDC and US HHS, and EPA.  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.


US HHS Report


Fluoride Risk Assessment and Relative Source Contribution (EPA)

Fact Sheet: Community Water Fluoridation (CDC)