CEDAR RAPIDS — The city’s Water Division on Tuesday reduced the level of fluoride it adds to the city’s drinking water in response to a recommendation in January by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The federal agency recommended that water-treatment plants lower the optimal dosage of fluoride in its water to 0.7 parts per million, which is the change implemented in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday.
Previously, the city had provided an optimal dosage of 1 parts per million with a range fluctuation of 0.7 to 1.2. Now the range fluctuation will be between 0.6 and 0.9.
In January, the DHHS said the lower fluoride level would allow the maximum prevention of tooth decay through fluoridation while reducing the possibility of children getting too much fluoride. Children can develop fluorosis, which can damage children’s developing teeth, if they take in too much fluoride, the agency said.
The agency also noted that fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash has lessened the need for fluoride in community water systems.
Bruce Jacobs, the city of Cedar Rapids’ utilities engineering manager, said Tuesday that the city has been spending about $36,000 a year for fluoride. The reduction will save the city about $13,000 a year.