Information on Fluoridation

BACKGROUND



The Town of Purcellville adds fluoride to the drinking water to meet recommendations set by the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Center for Disease Control.  The optimal level for fluoride is intended to prevent tooth decay and protect public health.  You can find information regarding the amount of fluoride in Purcellville’s drinking water in our Annual Water Quality Reports.

fACTS ABOUT fLUORIDE AND yOUR dRINKING wATER

The optimal level for fluoride is intended to prevent tooth decay and protect public health. In January 2011, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a revised recommendation for the optimal level of fluoride in drinking water. Based on new research, HHS/CDC recommends a fluoride level of 0.7 mg/L as optimal for ensuring public health protection. In the past, HHS/CDC supported a fluoride level between 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L, as safe and effective in preventing tooth decay. The Town achieves the revised optimal fluoride level of 0.7 mg/L in its operations.

The issues regarding the benefits of adding fluoride to the drinking water have been debated for a number of years. The addition of fluoride to drinking water was identified by the CDC as one of the top ten health achievements of the 20th century. Most recently, in January 2017, CDC issued a statement on the evidence supporting the safety and effectiveness of community water fluoridation. You may view the CDC's statement at this CDC Statement of Support. You can also read additional CDC information regarding community water fluoridation at Water Fluoridation Guidelines & Recommendations. You can also read the US Surgeon General’s perspective on community water fluoridation at Surgeon General's Perspective.

The addition of fluoride to drinking water is a decision that is usually made at a community level. Fluoride is being added to the drinking water supply at the recommendation of HHS/CDC and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). While the addition of fluoride serves no purpose in the water treatment process, it is added to achieve a public health goal.

Read about Fluoridation Facts from the American Dental Association.

aDDITIONAL FACTS REGARDING THE TOWN'S WATER SYSTEM

Below are some additional fluoridation facts regarding the Town of Purcellville water system:

  1. The Town uses sodium fluoride as an additive in the water system.  Sodium fluoride is considered a less caustic and more natural form of fluoride for water distribution systems than other types of fluoride, such as hydrofluosilicic acid. The manufacturer of sodium fluoride is Solvay Fluorides, LLC. A Safety Data Sheet for the sodium fluoride is available at this link and includes contact and safety information.

  1. The use of fluoride (a natural element) is a recommendation of the CDC and the VDH Office of Drinking Water. The application of fluoride in the Commonwealth of Virginia in low doses requires a Waterworks Class License administered through the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. In addition, individuals can supplement the addition of fluoride by using most over-the-counter toothpastes.  

  1. Here is the contact information for the various regulatory and advisor authorities.  Each of these respective agencies have physicians on staff or part of an advisory committee. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Office of Science Quality
1600 Clifton Road, NE
Mail Stop D-72
Atlanta, Georgia 30333

Phone (404) 639-4621

Virginia Department of Health

Office of Drinking Water

Andrew J. (Drew) Hammond, PE, Acting Office Director
109 Governor Street, 6th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 864-7500

  1. The Town targets a fluoride concentration of 0.7 mg/L in the water distribution system. The Town uses multiple water sources to provide water to its customers. The 2016 annual average fluoride concentrations for those sources were:
  • Water Treatment Plant: 0.69 mg/L
  • Mountain View Well: 0.77 mg/L
  • Forbes and Cornwell Well System: 0.74 mg/L
  • Main Street and Village Case Well System: 0.74 mg/L

  1. The amounts of fluoride introduced into drinking water are very low in concentration and some of it is removed or diluted through the treatment process. As such, by the time it is discharged from the wastewater treatment process, the concentration is as low as natural occurring fluoride. DEQ is responsible for administering permits for discharge and would add it to parameters associated with the Town’s approved wastewater permit, if they determined it was necessary.

  1. The Town of Purcellville is required by VDH to collect drinking water samples from the Water Treatment Plant annually for metals analysis and every three years at the groundwater wells. The samples are collected after the addition of fluoride to the drinking water. A copy of the most recent metals analysis from each source is available and indicates the following:
  • Water Treatment Plant: Neither lead nor arsenic were detected above laboratory detection levels.
  • Mountain View Well: Neither lead nor arsenic were detected above laboratory detection levels.
  • Forbes and Cornwell Well System: Lead was detected at the detection level of 0.002 mg/L, but below the EPA action level of 0.015 mg/L.  Arsenic was not detected.
  • Main Street and Village Case Well System: Neither lead nor arsenic were detected above laboratory detection levels.

  1.  Drinking water is not governed by the regulatory authority of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) instead it is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that has oversight. Bottled water is under the purview of the FDA which many people complain about because the drinking water standards of the FDA aren’t as stringent as the EPA standards.