DENVER, CO, Jan. 7, 2011 -- The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today proposed that the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water can be set at the lowest end of the current optimal range to prevent tooth decay. Simultaneously, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is initiating review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water. AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance issued the following statement:
"The American Water Works Association (AWWA) believes the best science should drive decisions related to fluoride and other water quality issues. We commend the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the other public health entities involved in the extensive and ongoing scientific analysis of community water fluoridation.
"The announcement today from HHS and USEPA affirms that community water fluoridation at optimal levels is beneficial for preventing tooth decay. The proposed recommendations properly take into account new scientific data and recognize that people today have access to more sources of fluoride.
"The goal of community water fluoridation is to achieve the desired oral health benefit while minimizing potential health risks. That is why water providers undergo thorough and extensive training to safely apply fluoride in the amount recommended by the world's most respected public health authorities.
"AWWA will carefully study the new recommendations and actively assist the water community in interpreting and responding to them. The Association is also committed to working with USEPA as it reviews the drinking water standard for fluoride in light of the latest scientific data."
AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the entire water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.