Austin Residents to Continue to Benefit from Fluoridation
The city of Austin, Texas will continue to provide its residents with the benefits of community water fluoridation (CWF) after a proposal to end the public health practice failed to advance before two city committees. Austin began its fluoridation program in 1973 following a public vote to initiate the practice. Members of the city’s Public Utilities Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee held a joint meeting to review the proposal.
During the meeting, the councils heard from variety of local dental and health officials in support of continuing to fluoridate the community’s water as well as presentations from those opposed to the practice. Dr Philip Huang, medical director and health authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, told the committee members, “If we stop fluoridation, everyone would be affected, but not equally. Many local residents lack dental insurance or face other barriers to securing dental care, and tap water is what gives these individuals immediate access to fluoride that helps them reduce the risk of tooth decay.”