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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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Fluoride Exposure -- Case Studies, Dental Fluorosis


Objective: This study reports on the number and percentage of community water systems (CWSs) meeting fluoride concentration standards set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The study also explored changes in the population exposed to optimally fluoridated water in these systems between 2006 and 2020. Methods: This study analyzed U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2006 to 2020, tabulating state-specific CWS fluoridation rates, ranking them, and calculating the percent change. Results: In 2020, 72.7% of the US population received CWS water, with 62.9% of those individuals served by a CWS system meeting DHHS fluoridation standards. This compares to 69.2% receiving CWS water in 2006 and 74.6% in 2012. The overall change in those receiving fluoridated water was 1.4%, from 61.5% in 2006 to 62.9% in 2020. State-specific percentages ranged from 8.5% in Hawaii to 100% in Washington DC in 2020 (median: 76.4%). Conclusions: Although endorsed by the American Dental Association, the percentage of individuals receiving fluoridated water did not increase substantially from 2006 to 2020, indicating that there has not been much progress toward meeting the Healthy People 2030 goal that 77.1% of Americans receive water with enough fluoride to prevent tooth decay.


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