The Rolla Board of Public Works has recommended the Rolla City Council lower the fluoridation level of the city’s water supply to 0.7 parts per million (ppm) from the current 1.0 ppm.
Rolla Municipal Utilities General Manager Rodney Bourne said the board at its June 1 meeting approved a proposed ordinance to present to the council.
That action was taken at the request of Mayor Louis Magdits IV who had told Bourne some weeks ago that he would like for the board to review information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about the federal government’s new recommendation for fluoride levels.
As reported earlier, at the May 5 meeting, Bourne presented information to the board about a new joint “final rule,” or recommendation, from the federal government that community drinking water systems set the fluoride levels at 0.7 ppm which is the lower end of the range that had previously been recommended, 0.7-1.2 ppm.
Rolla set the level at 1.0 and kept it there after voters approved fluoridation 47 years ago.
The federal agencies proposed a change in January 2011 and issued the final recommendation on April 27.
“This rule was drafted to properly take into account new scientific data and recognize that water is now one of many sources of fluoride,” Bourne said at last month’s meeting.
Bourne said the federal HHS and CDC, along with the American Dental Association and other leading public health authorities, continue to recommend water fluoride because it is beneficial to oral health.
“The goal of community water fluoridation is to achieve the desired oral health benefit while minimizing potential health risks. Water providers undergo thorough and extensive training to safely apply fluoride in the amount recommended by the world’s most respected public health authorities,” Bourne noted in his report to the board last month.
Bourne told the Board of Public Works that the use of hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFS) is the most common method of fluoridation, according to the American Dental Association’s Fluoridation Facts handbook.
“We purchase HFS from DPC Industries along with other water treatment chemicals,” he said. “HFS is produced under strict controls and meets all requirements of National Science Foundation standards.”
Continuing, he said, “The acid is injected at the wellhead and concentration levels are monitored during every well run to ensure it is consistent 1.0 ppm concentration. We publish the fluoride levels annually in our Consumer Confidence Report. Adjusting to 0.7 ppm can be completed at no expense.”
Regarding the annual expense of fluoridation, Bourne said the “chemicals average $10,000-$12,000 out of an almost $3 million budget and are a negligible expense.”
Here is the text of the draft ordinance reviewed by the Board of Public Works for submission to the Rolla City Council:
AN ORDINANCE REPEALING SECTION 35-180 OF CODE OF THE CITY OF ROLLA, MISSOURI, AND ENACTING A NEW SECTION 35-180 IN LIEU THEREOF PERTAINING TO FLUORIDE.
Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has proclaimed community water fluoridation one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century, and;
Whereas, fluoridation of community water supplies is supported by the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization and more than 200 other national and international organizations, and;
Whereas, community water fluoridation is a public health measure that benefits individuals of all ages and socioeconomic groups, especially those without access to regular dental care, and;
Whereas, fluoridation was approved in Rolla by a vote of the public and was formalized into a Rolla City Ordinance in May 1968, and;
Whereas, on April 7, 2015 , the U.S. Health and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control issued a Final Rule regarding Fluoride Concentrations lower the recommended fluoride levels in community drinking water systems to 0.7 parts per million.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ROLLA, MISSOURI, AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1: That Section 35-180, of the Code of the City of Rolla, Missouri, pertaining to fluoride, is hereby repealed and a new Section 35-180 is hereby enacted in lieu thereof as follows:
Sec. 35-180. Introduction and regulation of fluoride in the public water supply system.
The city, acting by and through its legally constituted board of public works, is hereby authorized and directed to provide the means and to proceed with the introduction of a fluoride additive meeting applicable standards into the public water supply of the city in such quantities as are required to provide throughout the pipe distribution system a fluoride concentration of approximately 0.7 parts fluoride per million parts of water.
The city acting by and through its legally constituted board of public works, shall keep an accurate record of the amount of fluoride bearing chemical applied to the quantities of water treated, and cause such analytical tests to be made for fluoride (in terms of the element F) in the untreated and treated water as it shall be directed to do so by the Missouri Division of Health. (Ord. 2137, §2; Ord. 2886, §3.)
Section 2: That this ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after the date of its passage and approval.