An Oklahoma City official says the Environmental Protection Agency may soon change regulations to reduce the amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.
The federal agency announced they were looking at changing regulations a year ago, drawing praise from the American Dental Association and other industry professionals.
Monte Hannon, the city’s water quality superintendent, said the practice of putting fluoride in drinking water is well established in the U.S. and Oklahoma City.
As new studies are published on fluoride, he said it’s also a frequently discussed issue at the EPA and other public health agencies.
“In the United States, we’ve been putting fluoride in the water since the 1950s, so it’s been studied for a long time,” Hannon said. “So, it seems like you continuously have people who ask why we feed fluoride and are we feeding too much or too little.”
In Oklahoma City, Hannon said fluoride is added to the water coming out of all three treatment plants — at Lake Stanley Draper, Lake Overholser and Lake Hefner.
He said each lake requires a different amount of fluoride to be added.
“At Draper, we feed in .8 parts per million,” Hannon said. “At Hefner, we feed in about a third of that because it naturally occurs more in that lake.”
Putting fluoride in drinking water is “a local decision,” and some cities in Oklahoma don’t treat their water with the tooth-friendly chemical compound.