Essay: Fluoridation of Public Waters
According to the CDC, public fluoridation of public water has been identified as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements. The first documented use of fluoridation of public water supply was in Michigan in1945. There are many reasons to add fluoride to the water supply, but the reasons appear to be cost of delivery and ease of delivery. Public water systems are maintained by local water municipalities throughout the United States. The federal government sets the recommended rate. (Center for Oral Health, 2011)
When looked at in comparison with other modes of fluoride delivery, i.e. toothpaste, dentist application, and Rx supplements. Water fluoridation is the least costly. Studies as far back as the 1940’s have shown that communities with fluoridated water supplies have fewer individuals with caries than those without fluoridated water supplies. In studies conducted prior to 1980 which showed 50 percent less tooth decay in communities with fluoridated water vs. those with non-fluoridated water; it was inferred that the cost of averted disease has been found to exceed the cost to implement and maintain fluoridation.(Griffin, 2001) In a 2000 study conducted on the economic evaluation of community water fluoridation the authors found, that, based on the data available on the effectiveness and cost of fluoridation, caries increment and cost and longevity of dental restorations, that water fluoridation offers significant cost savings.(J of Public Health Dentistry, 2001)
Opponents to public fluoridation of community water supplies cite that adding fluoride to the water supply increases the risk of certain kinds of cancer. However, in a report from the National Cancer Institute, it was found in several studies, that both humans and animals have shown no association between fluoridated water and cancer risk. (Griffin, 2012) Studies have actually shown that the adverse effects of water fluoridation are in...
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