Common questions about fluoride

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16. Should the public vote on whether to fluoridate local water systems?

  • The health and well-being of Americans is a national concern. However, state laws and city ordinances determine the process for how a community decides whether to fluoridate. The key is to ensure that those making this decision are relying on sound, scientifically accurate information.
  • Elected officials make a wide range of decisions about health issues. We feel comfortable having them set policies on water fluoridation, and we want to ensure they understand fully what the science shows before setting those policies.

17. How do we know the fluoride additives used to fluoridate drinking water are safe?

  • The quality and safety of fluoride additives are ensured by NSF/ANSI Standard 60, a program that was commissioned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and managed by NSF International. Standard 60 is a set of standards created and monitored by an independent committee of experts, involving the Association of State Health Officials and other key organizations. This committee provides regular reports to the EPA.
  • More than 80 percent of fluoride additives are produced by U.S. companies, but no matter where they come from, Standard 60 certification operates worldwide and uses on-site inspections and even surprise “spot checks” and independent analyses to confirm these additives meet quality and safety standards.