Many research studies have shown the safety and benefits of fluoride, a natural mineral found in soil, water, and foods.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognize fluoridation’s effectiveness in preventing tooth decay. In Halifax County, most towns have fluoridated water.
Greg Griffin, Halifax County Public Utilities director said the county purchases the water from the Roanoke Rapids Sanitary District and the town of Weldon.
“Both of their water treatment plants add fluoride,” he said. “The county does not add anything to the water in our system with exception of chlorine at certain locations.”
Almost all water contains some naturally occurring fluoride but usually at levels too low to prevent tooth decay. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends a level of 0.7 milligrams per liter of fluoride in drinking water.
Donald Crowder, town of Weldon water and sewer superintendent, said the state asked the town to add the fluoride, years ago, because it is beneficial.
“They have done studies and the American Dental Association says it is beneficial,” he said. “The Environmental Protection Agency sets a maximum added level of fluoride. We have an upper and a lower limit,” he said. The recommended level and the level where we stay is .7 parts per million.”
State dental societies and the American Dental Association have a set goal to bring fluoridated water to 80 percent of the population served by public water systems by 2020, using a baseline level of 74 percent in 2010.
One of the few towns in Halifax County without fluoridated water is Enfield, which has its own water system independent of the county. Northampton County has several towns without fluoridated water, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In addition to some public water systems, flouride can be found in other items, such as white wine, tea and baked potatoes.
While research shows it can prevent tooth decay, not everyone agrees with this. At present, 97 percent of the western European population drinks non-fluoridated water, according to flouridealert.org.
As an outreach measure, the Division of Oral Health has developed “My Water’s Fluoride” to allow people to learn about their drinking water fluoridation levels. It also provides information on the number of people the water system served by the water system, the water source, and if the water system fluoridates its water supply.
To find a county’s flouridated water status, visit on the web bit.ly/2tkwt9G
*Original article online at http://www.rrdailyherald.com/news/tooth-decay-preventing-fluoride-in-towns-water/article_88405118-7640-11e8-915f-eb1154911655.html