Fluoride Action Network

Today’s letters: Director of Hillsborough County Water Resources addresses fluoridation

Source: St. Petersburg Times | Director, Hillsborough County Water Resource Services, Tampa
Posted on June 20th, 2007
Location: United States, Florida

As a public utility which provides high-quality drinking water to more than 350, 000 people, Hillsborough County Water Resource Services receives numerous advisories, statements, position papers, opinions and articles from a wide variety of sources. Our staff carefully evaluates each new development in the industry.

Medical issues in particular can be extremely complex and confusing, and difficult to put into context by anyone other than medical professionals. That is why, in such matters, we rely on medical experts – in particular, the Hillsborough County Health Department – to evaluate the validity of the material and determine what message should be relayed to the public. Utilities are not allowed to make such judgment calls themselves. To do so would be irresponsible, unethical, and violate procedures and protocol established to safeguard our customers.

The American Dental Association is among dozens of major health organizations that endorse community fluoridation to prevent tooth decay. Their concern, based on a study done by the National Research Council, is that infants who receive fluoride above optimal amounts may be susceptible to fluorosis, a condition that damages tooth enamel. The optimal fluoride level in drinking water is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. Water Resource Services supplies 0.8 parts per million of fluoride in its drinking water. Further, both the ADA and the National Research Council indicate that additional research is needed.

The health and safety of our customers is paramount. This is a responsibility we take very seriously. We trust in the judgment of the qualified experts who advise us on medical issues related to our drinking water. When they deem an advisory or public notification necessary on any health-related issue, our customers can be assured that we will use every means available to share this information with them.