In a major victory for community water fluoridation, California?s largest water agency approved a measure Feb. 11 to add fluoride to the 1.7 billion gallons of water it supplies daily to nearly 17 million people in southern California. From the American Dental Association:Fluoridation scores victory in southern California
By Joe Hoyle
In a major victory for community water fluoridation, California?s largest water agency approved a measure Feb. 11 to add fluoride to the 1.7 billion gallons of water it supplies daily to nearly 17 million people in southern California.
?I?m proud of [our] dentists and our supporters for what we have accomplished,? said Dr. Eugene Sekiguchi, ADA president-elect, who spoke on behalf of a broad-based coalition of public and private health organizations supporting community water fluoridation attending the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California?s monthly board of directors meeting. ?This truly was an uphill fight. Doing what?s right prevailed.?
The MWD, a consortium of 26 cities and water districts comprising a 5,200 square mile service area, said it will take about 30 months to raise fluoride levels in source waters from the Colorado River and northern California to optimal levels at an initial cost of $5 million. The California Dental Association Foundation, in cooperation with the statewide Fluoridation 2010 task force, has offered to pay for construction and installation of fluoridation equipment at district treatment plants, the MWD said.
?Fluoridation is a community health measure that benefits children and adults,? ADA President T. Howard Jones said. ?Simply by drinking optimally fluoridated water, members of a community benefit, regardless of income, education or ethnicity?not just those with access to dental care.?
Approximately two-thirds of Americans who get their water from public water systems receive optimally fluoridated water, according to a report released in February 2002 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
?The council hopes this victory will encourage other communities which do not enjoy the benefits of water fluoridation to consider taking action,? said Dr. Michael D. Cerveris, chair, ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations. ?CAPIR has developed numerous resources to assist dentists and dental societies in fluoridation efforts.?
For more information on fluoride and fluoridation, see the online Topical Index. Information on community water fluoridation campaigns and ADA resources is available by contacting Nicole Stoufflet, CAPIR, at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free, Ext. 2858.