Des Moines, Iowa, continues water fluoridation

Des Moines, IA, will continue adding fluoride to the city's water, continuing an ongoing 54-year practice.

The city's board of trustees heard public comments but took no action last week on the practice, according to a story.

Adding fluoride to water has contributed significantly to better oral health among Americans, particularly those who do not have regular dental care, according to dentists, scientists, and public health officials.

Critics of the practice argue that the health risks have not been adequately studied and that the public utility is medicating its customers.

The city water department is the state's largest utility and serves about 500,000 customers throughout central Iowa.

The group received more than 650 comments on water fluoridation, but only two people spoke out about the issue at a December 17 hearing.

Officials determined that the practice of adding fluoride at a level of 0.7 parts per million is "appropriate for public health and is consistent with the balance of scientific and medical options currently available."

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