LITTLE ROCK – A bill introduced to the Arkansas Senate on Wednesday is looking to amend laws concerning water districts and the fluoridation of water.

Introduced by Senator Bryan King (R-Green Forest), Senate Bill 299 would allow water districts to hold an election to determine if the district should fluoridate the water.

An election would be called if there’s a majority vote of the board of directors of the district or a petition is signed by at least 35 percent of the voters in the district.

Fluoridation of drinking water began in the United States in 1945 when the U.S. National Institutes of Health conducted a controlled experiment in Grand Rapids, Michigan. By 1960, about 50 million people were drinking fluoridated water due to studies showing a decrease in cavities.

The bill has yet to be read or sent to a committee for review.

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Note from FAN: On March 4, 2011, Gov. Mike Beebe signed Act 197 into law. This law mandates fluoridation for water systems supplying 5,000 people or more, with two exceptions: (1) communities who receive their water from another state do not have to comply; (2) funds to pay capital start – up costs for fluoridation equipment cannot come from taxes. See more at

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