Anacortes began adding fluoride to its water in 1962 after a vote by residents followed by a city ordinance adopted that same year that directs fluoride be added to the water at the Blue Heron reservoir station.
In 2018, 73.0% of the US population on community water systems, or 207,426,535 people, had access to fluoridated water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fluoride is found naturally in the environment including in soil, water and foods, such as tea, chips and tuna, according to the US. Agriculture Department.
The level of fluoride is monitored through an online analyzer at the reservoir station that analyzes and reports the fluoride residual to Water Treatment Plant operators every five minutes, 24 hours a day. The city’s goal is to keep fluoride levels at 0.7 parts per million. (One part per million is equal to one milligram per liter.)
That amount was recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2015. The Washington State Department of Health revised the state’s fluoridation drinking water rule to reflect the new standard in 2016.
The recommendation is set to achieve a reduction in dental decay while minimizing the risk of dental fluorosis, according to Health and Human Services.
The maximum amount of fluoride recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in public water systems is 4.0 parts per million based on possible health risks and exposure over a lifetime, and 2.0 parts per million based on possible cosmetic effects.
The average range of fluoride detected in Anacortes water in 2019 was between 0.61 and 0.99 parts per million with an average of 0.74 parts per million.
Links to more information on Fluoride:
Washington State Department of Health - https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/DrinkingWater/FluorideinDrinkingWater
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/index.html
American Dental Association - https://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/advocating-for-the-public/fluoride-and-fluoridation
American Academy of Pediatrics - https://ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/
List of Washington public water systems that fluoridate - https://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/4200/FluorideCommunities.pdf