For Immediate Release
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APHA Reaffirms Its Support for Community Water Fluoridation

Statement from the American Public Health Association (APHA)

Washington, D.C.-- January 18, 2011 -- Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (HHS/CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released information on both adjusted and natural fluoride levels in drinking water.  HHS announced proposed recommendations to simplify the recommended optimal level for community water systems to 0.7 mg/L fluoride, a uniform concentration for all states, replacing a range of 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L adjusted for mean air temperature.  APHA continues to support community water fluoridation as a sound public health preventive measure. APHA is supportive of the process of updating recommendations for optimal fluoride concentrations in water based on today's conditions.

HHS reaffirmed that water fluoridation is safe and the most cost-effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay for everyone, regardless of age.  Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease, affecting almost everyone; and since the advent of fluoridation, the prevalence of tooth decay, especially among children, has markedly decreased. HHS states these recommendations are supported by recent scientific evidence demonstrating that fluoride ingestion from sources other than the water supply has increased over the last 40 years, and that the intake of fluids by children appears to no longer increase with increasing mean air temperature.  The EPA will be undertaking a review of the current maximum allowable level of natural fluoride based on recently completed assessments.

Since 1950, APHA has supported community water fluoridation as a sound, safe and effective public health measure with excellent health and economic benefits for better dental health. In 2008, APHA updated and reaffirmed its support for community water fluoridation, (APHA Policy #20087).

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.