Fluoride Action Network


Exposure to fluoride in drinking water was studied for evidence of detrimental effects on skeletal calcification and bone development in children. Three groups of children aged 7 through 14 years, living in Lubbock and Amarillo, Tex., and Cumberland, Md., were selected on the basis of continuous exposure to their communal drinking waters, which contained fluoride in the amounts of 3.5 to 4.5 p.p.m. F, 3.3 to 6.2 p.p.m. F, and 0.1 p.p.m. F, respectively. Radiographs were taken of the right hand and wrist of 2,050 children. From these X-rays, the skeletal age was assessed and a quantitative index of ossification was determined.

No evidence, available by radiographs was obtained which would indicate that there was any adverse effect on the carpal bones or on their growth and development as a consequence of the continuous use of drinking water containing approximately 3.5 to 6.2 p.p.m. F. These results confirm the safety of maintaining the fluoride level of public water supplies at about 1.00 p.p.m. F, by controlled fluoridation, for the reduction of tooth decay.