Aspen: The city is lowering the levels of fluoride dosing to match new federal standards


From the Aspen Daily News (Curtis Wackerle):

Effective immediately, the city will adapt the amount of fluoride it adds to the water supply to new federal standards recommending levels be set at 0.7 parts per million. The chemical is added to drinking water because of its ability to stem cavities in children, but is controversial because it is also a toxin with adverse health effects in high enough doses…

The official action by council comes after years of debate on the issue. Removing fluoride from public water supplies has become a cause for some, and officials within the city’s water department have become concerned over the years about adding the substance.

“We have the best water in the world,” said water treatment supervisor Charles Bailey, a 20-year veteran of the water department. “We cringe when we load” the fluoride bags into the water supply, he said, noting the chemical’s industrial Chinese origin. There are no domestically available sources of fluoride additive, he said…

The plan approved instructs the water department to “create a more extensive testing protocol” on fluoride levels, and report back annually to council on fluoride. C.J. Oliver, the city’s director of the environmental health department, wrote in a memo on the issue that the government must rely on “peer-reviewed” studies in deciding which way to go. While too much fluoride has been shown to degrade tooth enamel and lead to more bone fractures, the jury is still out on whether the levels of fluoride in Aspen’s water are truly dangerous, the memo says. Other claims, including concerns that fluoride causes cancer and lowers IQ levels, are unsubstantiated at this time, Oliver wrote.

More water treatment coverage here.

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