Dallas considers ending water fluoridation

Dallas officials are considering ending fluoridation of the community's water system after 50 years as a way to save money.

Dallas is considering whether to renew a three-year contract that provides the city's water supply with fluoride, according to the American Dental Education Association. The contract is set to expire January 1, 2015, and is worth approximately $1.8 million. Dallas would become the largest city in the U.S. to stop fluoridating its water, surpassing Portland, OR, and Tucson, AZ.

During an April city council meeting, several members expressed an interest in studying the need and expense of community water fluoridation. But during a May meeting, member Jennifer Staubach Gates defended fluoridated water, saying she had to take fluoride supplements because she grew up in a community without fluoridation. She said she didn't want Dallas citizens to have to go through the process of buying fluoride supplements.

According to 2012 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 210 million Americans drink from a fluoridated water supply, including approximately 20 million Texans.

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