State Update

States Tackle Community Water Fluoridation

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 204 million people in the United States are served by public water supplies containing enough fluoride to protect their teeth. However, approximately 100 million Americans still do not have access to fluoridated water. Listed below are several bills currently pending in state legislatures which capture the public’s sentiment both for and against community water fluoridation.

Kansas

H.B. 2372, sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs, would require that all Kansas cities and other local governmental units providing artificially fluoridated water notify the consumers of treated water that the latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the I.Q. in children. The bill would permit the notice to be included with, or printed on, water bills or by any other means that the city felt would adequately make the consumers aware of the findings. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services for consideration.  

Missouri


H.B. 1078 is sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-MO), a dental hygienist with more than 30 years of experience. The bill requires any public water system or public water supply district intending to permanently cease fluoridation of its water supply to notify the departments of Natural Resources and Health and Senior Services and its customers of its intentions at least 30 days before any vote on the matter. In addition, the system or district must notify its customers by mail at least 30 days before any meeting at which the vote will occur. The Tourism and Natural Resources Committee passed a committee substitute on February 13.

New Jersey

Sen. Joseph F. Vitale (D-NJ) has sponsored S. 1180, titled the “New Jersey Public Water Supply Fluoridation Act.” The bill requires the fluoridation of all public community water systems in New Jersey for the purpose of promoting public health through the prevention of tooth decay. Also, the bill provides that the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services, must adopt rules and regulations relating to the fluoridation of public community water systems. The bill has been referred to the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee for consideration.