CDC Web Site Now Provides Information on Community Water Fluoridation
People seeking information on whether their water
system is fluoridated can now find out by visiting a new Web site at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The new feature, My
Water's Fluoride, allows consumers in participating states to check out
basic information about their water system, including the number of people
served by the system and the target fluoridation level. Optimal levels
recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC for drinking water
range from 0.7 parts per million (ppm) for warmer climates to 1.2 ppm for
cooler climates to account for the tendency for people to drink more water
in warmer climates.
States that are currently participating include Arizona, Colorado,
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Dakota,
Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
"One of the recommendations of last year's CDC report, Recommendations
for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United
States, was to provide people with information about the fluoride
content in their community's drinking water," said Dr. William R.
Maas, a dentist and director of CDC's oral health program. "This new
feature will make it easy for consumers to find this out. It will aid both
consumers and health professionals in determining the fluoride content of
their drinking water so they can assess whether additional sources of
fluoride should be used to help prevent tooth decay."
One of the recommendations of the 2001 CDC Fluoride Recommendations was
for parents of young children under age 6 to know the fluoride
concentration in their child's drinking water in order to consider whether
to change their child's fluoride intake. In some communities where the
natural fluoride concentration is below optimal levels, this could mean
considering fluoride supplements, while in communities where the fluoride
level is above 2 parts per million, parents may want to use alternative
sources of drinking water for young children.
A second new feature is Oral
Health Maps, a geographic information system (GIS) application.
These maps provide state or county profiles with selected demographic and
water fluoridation information for participating states. Both new features
obtain their data from the Water Fluoridation Reporting System (WFRS), a
Web-based monitoring tool for state and tribal oral health and water
Fluoride, a naturally occurring element in the environment, is known to
be effective in preventing tooth decay in children and adults. Over the
past several decades, fluoridation has played an important role in the
dramatic reduction of tooth decay and has been identified by CDC as one of
10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.