Fluoridation among top 10 public health achievements of 20th Century
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that 86 Iowa communities have received a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in the water to an optimal level for preventing tooth decay. The award recognizes communities that maintained a consistent level of optimally fluoridated water throughout 2009.
Fluoride is a natural element found in rocks, soil, and water. Fluoride’s benefits for teeth were discovered in the 1930s. Dental scientists found low tooth decay rates among people whose water supplies contained natural fluoride. In communities of 20,000 people, every $1 invested in water fluoridation results in $38 of savings in dental treatment costs.
The CDC has recognized community water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th Century and recommends water fluoridation as a safe, effective, and inexpensive method of preventing tooth decay. Even so, fluoridation opponents have unsuccessfully attempted to end community water fluoridation in Iowa City and Dubuque this year. Next month, the Des Moines Board of Water Works Trustees will discuss the continued practice of fluoridation of the public water supply.
IDPH is a strong supporter of fluoridation programs. The IDPH Fluoridation Program monitors the fluoridation of public water supplies, assists and trains water system operators, and helps communities with fluoridation projects. To see the fluoridation status of Iowa counties and towns, visit http://www.idph.state.ia.us/hpcdp/fluoride_search.asp . For more information on fluoride, visit http://www.idph.state.ia.us/hpcdp/common/pdf/oral_health/benefits_flouride.pdf .
Iowa American Water Clinton
University Water System
West Central RWA-Boyer
Iowa American Davenport
Central Water System
Lakes Regional Water
Des Moines Water Works
West Central RWA-Nishnabotna