FARMINGTON — Davis County water appears to be safe when it comes to introduction of fluoride, particularly as it might impact babies.
That was the opinion of County Attorney Troy Rawlings, who reported on his findings to the Davis County Commission Tuesday morning.
“All of the data that has been collected to date, to my knowledge, shows that it appears that the waters of Davis County are safe; that our Davis County Health Department and health board have done a good job of handling these issues,” he said.
“As a result of their conduct, I see no potential liability on behalf of Davis County,” Rawlings said.
County commissioners asked for Rawlings’ opinion on the matter, and if there was any legal liability on the county, because of concerns raised by Lorna Rosenstein, director of Waterwatch of Utah.
The commissioners took his report “under advisement,” taking no formal action.
Rosenstein previously asked health board members to require fluoridated public water systems to advise water users that using reconstituted infant formula with tap water could cause dental fluorosis in children.
“On two of three questions, there was really no legal liability associated with the issues she was asking about,” Rawlings said, citing “sovereign immunity.”
“Under the (Utah legal) code, there was no improper conduct at all on the part of the Davis County Department of Health. On those first two I see no possibility of liability.”
Only a “very remote possibility of any potential liability” was noted by Rawlings, who said “it could easily be addressed. I gave the commissioners some options to consider related to chemical manufacturers, and suppliers, who provide fluoride to Davis County.”
He expressed concern that answers to those questions haven’t been provided to the county or to the State Department of Environmental Quality – with both entities having previously posed the questions.
“I gave them (commissioners) a few possible avenues they could pursue in trying to get answers from the chemical manufacturers,” Rawlings added.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and EPA recommended in January that fluoride levels be set at 0.7 per liter of water, rather than the range that had been recommended previously.
However, last October, the Davis Department of Health had lowered the amount of fluoride in water to that level.