Most fresh surface water (e.g., lakes, rivers, streams, and springs) contain very low levels of fluoride. However, as with other toxic substances, such as arsenic and lead, some water supplies — particularly those that draw water from deep underground — are contaminated with high levels of naturally occurring fluoride. In this section of the website, we provide a list of water systems in the United States that have been identified as having high levels of naturally occurring fluoride.
The information in this series comes primarily from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 1993 report titled Fluoridation Census. However, the CDC’s report did not list the natural levels of fluoride in drinking water for a number of states (Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and West Virginia) and provided very little information for some others. We will be doing everything we can to get data for these states and will update this series as we receive the data. If you want to help in this effort or have information about elevated fluoride levels in communities that we have not identified, please email us.
Based on our recent investigation of high-fluoride communities in Texas, we have found that some of the communities that CDC identified as having elevated natural fluoride levels no longer do. Accordingly, the data provided in this series should be treated with some caution as to its present applicability.
Did You Know?
High Artificial Levels in U.S. School Water Systems
In the United States, elementary schools were once targeted in several states with high-dose fluoridation programs, where up to 5.4 ppm of fluoride was added to school drinking water. It appears this practice began in the early 1970s and ended sometime in the late 1990s. As far as we know there has been no acknowledgement of its history in the many schools that installed these devices.