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Fluoride is a natural element on earth and it occurs in water supplies throughout United Stated and elsewhere. When fluoride is present in drinking water at optimal levels, it has been shown to promote oral health by preventing tooth decay. Fluoridation of public water system supplies has been implemented in the U.S. for more than 60 years as an acceptable practice for public health protection. The last five Surgeons Generals and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support and encourage water fluoridation. California's fluoridated drinking water act, Assembly Bill (AB) 733, became law in 1995, authorizing water systems with 10,000 or more service connections to fluoridate once money from an outside source is provided. As a result, if the State provides resources to add fluoride to a public water system then this must be added and the water system permit will be conditioned to include fluoride in the process.
The City of Roseville adds fluoride to its drinking water in accordance with the current law and regulations, enforced by California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The City adds fluoride at 0.7 parts per million (ppm) to achieve optimal dental health. This level is below the current California drinking water standard of 2 ppm for fluoride (4 ppm federal standard), established to reduce the potential of dental fluorosis. The City has been fluoridating since the 1950’s. When the new water treatment plant was designed and constructed in the later 1960’s, the decision was made to continue this practice. Since the City has been fluoridating, our water system permit from CDPH contains the condition to continue to add fluoride. By discontinuing this addition, the City would be in violation of our permit and subject to penalties as a result.
The City realizes there is much information out regarding benefits of fluoridation and potential health concerns. Fluoridation of public water supplies is based on experts in the field influencing laws to require that water agencies provide this service. As a public water supplier, it is the Water Utility’s duty to understand these laws and comply with them, thereby continuing the practice under current requirements. In addition, according to a 2010 statistically valid survey of Roseville residents, 84% felt that fluoridation of Roseville's water supply was important to them.
"As a licensed dentist serving the citizens of Roseville since January 1989, I have seen the positive effects of optimal water fluoridation. In my Roseville office, the children have far fewer decayed, missing and filled teeth than in my other office (located outside of Roseville) that does not have fluoridated drinking water. Compared to the cost of restorative treatment, water fluoridation actually provides cost savings, a rare characteristic for community-based disease prevention strategies."
Tim Herman, DDS
Roseville City Council Member
More information on fluoridation:
CDPH Drinking Water and Environmental Management – Fluoridation by Public Water Systems.
US Environmental Protection Agency – Basic Information about Fluoride in Drinking Water
CDPH Office of Oral Health – Oral Health
Center for Disease Control - Fluoridation in Water Supply
Center for Disease Control - Oral Health