There are legitimate questions about how much fluoride should be added to water.
Fluorosis, a condition that can cause discolored teeth, can occur if people get too much fluoride, but severe cases of the illness are rare and “no evidence indicates that recommended levels of community water fluoridation lead to severe dental fluorosis,” the U.S. National Institutes of Health reported.
There also have been concerns about fluoride hurting children’s bone growth. But a team of researchers, led by Steven Levy, a UI dentistry professor, found by tracking children from birth until age 25 that fluoride consumption did not affect their bone development.
In 2015, the CDC updated its recommendation on fluoride levels from 1 to 2 milligrams per liter of water to .7 to 1.25 milligrams per liter in response to new information about fluoride available from other sources, including from toothpaste and mouthwash.
“If science says we don’t need as much, you want to reduce it,” Russell said. “It’s a sign of transparency and honesty.”
About 20 percent of Iowa communities do not fluoridate water, Russell said. Since 2017, 15 Iowa communities totaling more than 25,000 residents have stopped adding fluoride to water, the state Public Health Department reported.
Ely, a Linn County city of 1,650, ended decades of fluoridation in 2020 at the recommendation of the water treatment manager, Mayor Eldy Miller said.
Originally Appeared Here