United water fluoridating water

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Information on the fluoride content of public water supplies is available from local water suppliers and local, county, or state health departments.Since 1945, fluoride has been added to many public drinking-water supplies as a public-health practice to control dental caries.

Opponents have questioned the motivation for and the safety of the practice; some object to it because it is viewed as being imposed on them by the states and as an infringement on their freedom of choice (Hileman 1988; Cross and Carton 2003).The most commonly used additives are silicofluorides, not the fluoride salts used in dental products (such as sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride).Silicofluorides are one of the by-products from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.In 1986, an MCLG of 4 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and an SMCL of 2 mg/L were established for fluoride, and an MCL of 4 mg/L was promulgated.It is important to make the distinction that EPA’s standards are guidelines for restricting the amount of naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water; they are not recommendations about the practice of adding fluoride to public drinking-water systems (see below).Of the approximately 10 million people with naturally fluoridated public water supplies in 1992, around 6.7 million had fluoride concentrations less than or equal to 1.2 mg/L (CDC 1993).

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