Fluoride Action Network

State Fluoride Database

Read the latest fluoride news from your state; find out if your town is fluoridated, see if any communities have recently rejected fluoridation, learn if your state has a law that mandates fluoridation, and other fluoride-related information.

Alaska

Water Fluoridation Status:

  • PERCENT OF PEOPLE SERVED BY PUBLIC WATER SYSTEMS THAT ARE FLUORIDATED:
    2014:  49.5%
    201252.9%
    200659.5%
    200055.2%
    199261.2%
  • To see if your town is fluoridated, click here.
  • To learn when your town was fluoridated, and which fluoridation chemical it uses, click here.

Water fluoridation accidents:

  • MAY 1992 — Hooper Bay: One man dies, one man is airlifted to hospital in critical condition and 260 are poisoned. It is the largest reported fluoridation accident to date. Symptoms include “nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, headache, weakness, itching, numbness or tingling of an extremity, shortness of breath (and) fatigue.” (SOURCE: News Tribune 1992 | Gessner 1994)

Latest News:

  • To see the latest news on fluoride developments in Alaska, click here.
  • To see an updated list of Alaska professionals calling for an end to fluoridation, click here.

Alaska’s fluoridation law:

  • The State of Alaska does not mandate fluoridation.  AK does require the daily sampling and monitoring requirements for fluoride concentrations in water supplies and reporting of results to the Department of Environmental Conservation.  Local governments control fluoridation policy in AK.  City councils can begin or discontinue fluoridation at their discretion, or by a referendum vote.  Each community’s fluoridation ordinance is unique.  To learn more about these fluoridation ordinances, click here.

Of special interest:

  • March 2010: The Fairbanks Fluoride Task Force recommended that fluoridation be ended. “Primarily because (1) the ground water used for Fairbanks public water contains an average of 0.3 ppm fluoride, and (2) higher concentrations of fluoride put non-nursing infants at risk…” Read full report.
  • May 1992: An overfeed of fluoride into one of two public water systems serving Hooper Bay in Alaska caused an outbreak of acute fluoride poisoning and the death of a 41-year-old man. – See report

Data on oral health:

  • 2013 – Alaska Tribal Health System Oral Health. By Mary E. Williard, DDS, Director, Department of Oral Health Promotion; Director, Dental Health Aide Therapist Educational Program. Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. This report promotes fluoridation and gives no information on the rate of dental fluorosis.
  • According to the report, Oral Health; Healthy Alaskans 2010 (no mention on dental fluorosis):

… There is relatively little information available on Alaska’s incidence of caries.A 1989 study of 3-5 year old children enrolled in Alaska’s Head Start Program found 55 percent of children screened had untreated dental decay, found evidence of baby-bottle tooth decay (early childhood caries) in 25 percent of Native children and 4 percent of non-Native children, and 20 percent of all teeth in these children had evidence of past or present caries.
… Low-income individuals also have a higher incidence of dental decay.
… Preliminary data from the 1999 Indian Health Service Oral Health Survey indicates the Alaska Native dental clinic user population has more than twice as many decayed or filled teeth as non-Natives. The current situation in rural Alaskan villages is similar to the situation faced in the United States prior to World War II. Historically, a number of studies documented the low decay rates in Native populations in Alaska. The traditional diet of Natives in most of Alaska was rich in protein and fats and very low in sugars and other fermentable carbohydrates. Studies conducted since the 1920s have documented the relationship between dental decay and increased ingestion of refined sugar and other carbohydrates in the Native population.

Alaska’s caries experience rates (evidence of past or present dental decay) are higher than the national baseline of 52%, with 65 percent of Alaskan third grade children with caries experience at the time of the assessments. Higher dental decay rates were seen in third graders from racial/ethnic minority groups. High dental decay rates in Alaska Native children have been noted in previous Indian Health Service dental assessments, however the 2004 third-grade dental assessments in Alaska found similar caries experience rates in third-grade Asian and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander racial/ethnic groups (See Figure 1). About the same percentage of Alaska third-graders had untreated decay at the time of the dental assessment, 28%, as the national baseline for 6-8 year olds (29%). Similar patterns were seen in terms of untreated dental decay in Alaskan third-graders with higher rates in third-graders from racial/ethnic minorities (See Figure 2). Untreated decay was found in 43.5% of Alaska Native children; rates were higher for Asian third-graders (49.5%) and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander third-graders (52.4%).

  • Undated. Alaska Oral Health Assessment. Summary Report 2004-2005. By the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Oral Health Program. No mention of dental fluorosis.
  • Undated. 13.  Oral Health.  Healthy Alaskans 2010 – Volume I.
    A 2 paragraph description of dental fluorosis is given.
  • 2007. Alaska Oral Health Plan: 2008-2012. By BJ Whistler. Women’s, Children’s and Family Health, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Funding for the State Oral Health Plan was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Programs Cooperative Agreement (U58/CCU022905). No mention of dental fluorosis.
    “White Spot Lesions” is mentioned on page 12:
    “Develop or identify education materials for parental/caregiver recognition of early enamel caries, ‘white spot lesions’, in relation to early childhood caries and prevention efforts.”
  • 2012. Alaska Oral Health Plan 2012-2016. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. July. Funding for the State Oral Health Plan was provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Programs Cooperative Agreement (U58/CCU022905). No mention of dental fluorosis.
    –“White Spot Lesions” is mentioned on page 35 using the same language as above.
  • 2013. Alaska Oral Health Surveillance System. Oral Health Program, Department of Health and Social Services. November 1. Supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    — Dental fluorosis mentioned once on page 12: “Rates of dental fluorosis, a cosmetic condition in tooth enamel, may increase if fluoride levels in the drinking water are chronically in excess of optimal fluoride levels.”

FAN’S STATE COORDINATOR IN ALASKA:

If you live in AK and want to get the fluoride out of your water contact Doug Yates, FAN’s Alaska state coordinator.

ALASKA COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE REJECTED FLUORIDATION:

Community Population
(as of July 2012)
Date
Palmer 8,400 October 25, 2011
Fairbanks 32,000 June 6, 2011
Juneau 32,000 October 2007
Kodiak 6,000 July 12, 1996
Ketchikan 8,000 October 2, 1991

FLUORIDE POLLUTION SOURCES IN ALASKA:

In 2008, Alaska ranked #44 out of 48 states for Hydrogen fluoride emissions (33,106 pounds). The following data comes from EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) for Hydrogen Fluoride releases. “Total releases” includes both water and air pollution. It’s important to note, however, that not all industries or sources that release fluoride into the environment are included in the TRI.

Toxic Release Inventory for Hydrogen Fluoride

Rank = compared to all 790 facilities in the U.S. for release of HF in 2014

Rank
for 2014
Facility 2014
All
Releases
2013
All Releases
2012
All Releases
174 DOYON UTILITIES FT WAINWRIGHT AK. 3564 NEELY RD, FORT WAINWRIGHT ALASKA 99703 (FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR) 34,935 37,884  40,173
ALASKA TOTAL: 34,935 37,884 40,173
2008 Releases
(in pounds)
Type of Industry Name of Industry
33,106 Federal Facility U.S. ARMY FORT WAINWRIGHT. 1060 GAFFNEY RD #4500, FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska 99703 (FAIRBANKS NORTH STAR)

 

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