Fluoride Action Network

Milwaukee may lower fluoride levels in city water

Source: Journal Sentinel | July 13th, 2012 | By Don Walker

Department of Health and Human Services recommends less of additive

The Milwaukee Water Works won’t eliminate fluoride from Milwaukee’s drinking water, but it appears the amount of the chemical going into the system will be reduced.

A new proposal offered by Ald. Jim Bohl could be approved by the full council later this month, said Common Council President Willie Hines. The new plan would call on the water works to reduce the amount to 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water.

That measure is the standard the federal Department of Health and Human Services has recommended that the nation’s water systems adopt. That proposed standard, which has not been fully implemented nationwide, would replace the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water.

Milwaukee’s fluoride level is 1.1 milligrams of fluoride per liter.

Bohl, who declined to comment on his plan, had originally said fluoride should be eliminated from the city’s drinking water. He argued that the practice was obsolete, unhealthy and a waste of money. He said there was little scientific evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay.

“We are endangering the health of our children and citizens by adding poison to our water in a failed effort to reduce tooth decay,” Bohl wrote in a letter to the Journal Sentinel.

Fluoride has been added to Milwaukee’s water supply since 1953 with proponents saying it helps children resist getting cavities.

The Milwaukee Health Department also supports the recommendation to reduce the amount of fluoride to the 0.7 standard.

Hines said Bohl’s new proposal had the support of at least 10 aldermen, good enough for passage. The matter will first be heard before the council’s Steering and Rules Committee on July 24. If approved, it would go to the full council the same day.