Largest City in the State that Discovered the Benefits of Fluoride in Water Votes to Continue Fluoridation
Last week the Denver, Colorado Board of Water Commissioners voted to continue to fluoridate its municipal water systems, guaranteeing the 1.3 million people it serves the ongoing benefit to their dental health. The Resolution provides an eloquent explanation of the Water Board’s process, rationale, and findings, and places these in the context of the region’s natural but varying fluoride levels. “Although Denver Water’s source water is naturally fluoridated, only careful management of fluoride levels in our drinking water can provide the desired dental health benefit.”
Central to this consideration is the concept of the equitable distribution of a public health benefit to all residents. “If Denver Water were to cease supplementing with fluoride, our customers would still receive fluoridated drinking water. However, some portions of our service area would receive on average less dental health benefit than others, and fluoridation levels within our system would vary significantly, making the public health benefit for all our customers less predictable and less uniform.”
The Resolution’s authors acknowledge the difficulty in serving entire communities, as is their mandate. With all due respect to opposing viewpoints, they draw on sound science in upholding their mission. “Community water fluoridation is a public health action, which by definition protects the health of the population in general, and sometimes conflicts with individual choice. The Board acknowledges and appreciates the sincerely held beliefs of those who oppose fluoridation. However, the Board must rely on those who have both the expertise and the responsibility to protect the health of the public. Community water fluoridation provides health benefits continuously to all our customers, at all stages and ages of their lives, regardless of their access to health care or their adherence to healthy living guidelines.”
We commend the Commissioners for a thorough and thoughtful review and a reasoned and articulate Resolution. Congratulations and thank you.