Community Water Fluoridation

The Concord Board of Health believes that the overwhelming body of scientific evidence and studies show that community water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.  

The Board of Health at it's November 17, 2015 meeting, endorsed the Concord Water and Sewer Division's decision to reduce fluoride levels in Concord's municipal drinking water to levels recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in April 2015. For additional updated recommendations regarding community water fluoridation, issued by the MDPH and HHS in April 2015, view the Community Water Fluoridation (PDF).

Benefits & Safety of Community Water Fluoridation


View a report from the American Dental Association report, Fluoridation Facts (PDF), a 70-page document with an extensive FAQ section that summarizes current research and provides answers many commonly asked questions about fluoridation.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


"For 65 years, community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay. CDC has recognized water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century."

View additional resources from the CDC:
The number of communities and people who benefit from water fluoridation is continuing to increase. This safe, healthy, and effective public health intervention was initiated in 1945. In 2012, 74.6% of the U.S. population on public water systems, or a total of 210,655,401 people, had access to fluoridated water. For additional details view the CDC website section, water fluoridation data and statistics.

American Dental Association (ADA)


The ADA is the oldest and largest national dental society in the world. It has grown to become the leading source of oral health related information for dentists and their patients. The ADA states, "The Association endorses community water fluoridation as a safe, beneficial and cost-effective public health measure for preventing dental caries (cavities). This support has been the Association's policy since 1950."

Learn more about water safety by viewing the ADA website section,10 Reasons to Fluoridate Public Water, and statements from leading health authorities on fluoridation.

Campaign for Dental Health


The Campaign for Dental Health's website has a section Sort Through the Science, which provides a quick primer on both sides of the fluoride debate. Readers can use the website section, Questions About Fluoride, to interactively ask questions. The site also has a section, What the Experts Say about Fluoride, which contains recent articles and statements from leading health organizations

American Public Health Association (APHA)


"Since 1950, APHA has supported community water fluoridation (CWF) as a safe and effective public health measure for the prevention of dental caries (tooth decay), reaffirming this policy in 1955, 1956, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1969, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1992, 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2006. In addition, more than 100 national and international organizations have recognized the public health benefits of community water fluoridation."

"The scientific evidence base continues to support CWF as a safe and effective public health measure. Reviews of the scientific literature on the health effects of fluoride in the last 18 years have been conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government (2007); National Research Council (NRC), USA (1993, 2006); World Health Organization (1994, 1996, 2006); U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2003); International Programme on Chemical Safety; WHO (2002); Forum on Fluoridation, Ireland (2002); Medical Research Council, UK (2002); University of York, UK (2000); Institute of Medicine, USA (1999); Health Canada (1999); Lewis and Banting, Canada (1994); U.S. Public Health Service (1991); and Kaminsky, New York State Department of Health (1990). In addition, the environmental impact of CWF has been reviewed. All of these reviews have found CWF to be safe and effective. Opponents have claimed potential toxicity from fluoridated water, but none of these claims has been supported by studies of scientific merit."

U.S. Surgeon General


The U.S. Surgeon General provides details on their website section, Oral Health in America, and states "The dental profession has long championed disease prevention and health promotion approaches to oral health. The initial observations in the 1930s that people living in communities served by naturally fluoridated water had lower dental caries inspired the trailblazing clinical prevention studies of the 1940s and 1950s.

Researchers compared whole cities agreeing to fluoridate their water supplies to control cities whose drinking water contained only trace amounts of fluoride. Five years into the studies, follow-up with schoolchildren who had been examined at baseline revealed dramatic reductions in dental caries in the children drinking fluoridated water, as compared to controls."

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)


The AAP and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. The AAP states, "Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood, and water fluoridation is one of the most important public health initiatives in the 20th century. The AAP agrees that water fluoridation is beneficial for reducing and controlling tooth decay and promoting oral health in children and adults." View additional details from the AAP website section on oral health and children.

National Academy of Sciences


The National Academy of Sciences, including its National Research Council (NRC), has considered the health effects of fluoride in drinking water on several occasions. Additional information on the NRC and its reports can be found on the CDC website. View additional information on the NRC report by viewing the full report (PDF).

Massachusetts Department of Public Health


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)