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PHR News of the Week: New PHS Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water

Through this  final  recommendation, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) updates and  replaces its 1962 Drinking Water Standards related to community water fluoridation — the controlled addition of a fluoride compound to a community water supply to achieve a concentration optimal for dental caries prevention.


Because fluoridation of public drinking water systems had been demonstrated as effective in reducing dental caries, PHS provided recommendations regarding optimal fluoride concentrations in drinking water for community water systems in 1962. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing this updated PHS recommendation because of new data that address changes in the prevalence of dental fluorosis, the relationship between water intake and outdoor temperature in children, and the contribution of fluoride in drinking water to total fluoride exposure in the United States. Although PHS recommends community water fluoridation as an effective public health intervention, the decision to fluoridate water systems is made by state and local governments.

Click here to see the U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.