District of Columbia
WATER FLUORIDATION STATUS:
- 100% of the District of Columbia’s (D.C.) public water supplies have been fluoridated since 1952.
- To learn which fluoridation chemical it uses, click here.
- To see an updated list of D.C.’s professionals calling for an end to fluoridation, click here.
District of Columbia’s FLUORIDATION LAW:
- “DC Water purchases treated drinking water from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Washington Aqueduct, the federal agency responsible for water fluoridation in the District. Based on the recent HHS recommendation, the Washington Aqueduct has adjusted the amount of fluoride added during the treatment process to the optimal level of 0.7 mg/L. The average fluoride level in District drinking water has been 0.9 mg/L, within the range previously recommended by HHS.”– Fluoride Legislative User Information Database (FLUID)
DATA ON ORAL HEALTH:
This 2007 report, Issue Brief: Oral Health is Critical to the School Readiness of Children in Washington, DC, was produced by the Altarum Institute and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. No mention of dental fluorosis.
• Low-income Children in Washington, DC are at High Risk for Poor Oral Health and Consequently Inadequate School Readiness.
• Close to one-half of the infants and toddlers in the District of Columbia live in low-income families, and almost one-quarter live in extreme poverty (below 50 percent of the federal poverty level of $8,300 annually for a family of three). A study conducted at the Children’s National Medical Center found that District children with a history of dental caries, most of which were from low-income families, were significantly more likely to exhibit failure to thrive, or an inability to gain weight or grow as expected.
According to a Department of Health report (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) 2006 Annual Report). No mention of dental fluorosis.
• Over 90% of adults aged 18-24 had all of their permanent teeth, compared to only 22% of adults aged 65 years and older.
• Caucasians reported the highest percentage of all other races to have all of their permanent teeth (79%)— compared to 67% of Hispanics, 64% of adults of “other” races, and only 45% of African Americans.
• As education and household income increased, so did the percentage of District adults having all of their permanent teeth. By education, one-third (33%) of adults with less than a high school degree had all of their permanent teeth, compared to almost three-fourths (71%) of adults with a college degree. By income, less than half (41%) of adults who had a household income below $15,000 had all of their permanent teeth, compared to 73% of adults with a household income of $75,000 or more. There was a wide variety in responses by ward. Adults in Ward 3 were the highest percentage to have all of their permanent teeth (76%), whereas less than half of adults residing in Wards 4, 5, 7, and 8 had all of their permanent teeth.
• Ward 7 and 8 adults were the lowest percentage of residents to have been to the dentist or hygienist within the past year for a dental cleaning compared to adults of other wards—58% and 54%, respectively. This is compared to 75% or more of adults residing in Wards 1, 2, and 3 (75%, 79%, and 87%, respectively)
FAN’S STATE COORDINATOR IN D.C.:
If you live in D.C. and want to get the fluoride out of your water contact Cynthia Erville, FAN’s D.C. coordinator.