News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

Illinois Follows Federal Guidance & Reduces Fluoride in Water Supplies

Following the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Illinois reduced the fluoridation requirement in its public water supply regulations, changing the requirement that all community water suplies maintain a fluoride ion concentration of 0.90 to 1.2 mg/L in the community water supply distribution system to reflect a fluordiation ion concentration of 0.7 mg/L.  The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency filed a new rulemaking to make this change with the Illinois Pollution Control Board, which is responsible for determining, defining, and implementing environmental control standards in Illinois.

The Board found that the rule as proposed by IEPA is “technically feasible and economically reasonable and is protective of human health and the environment.”  As part of its analysis, the Board relied on the recent recommendation of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services “for the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay.  The new recommendation is for a single level of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water.  It updates and replaces the previous recommended range (0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter) issued in 1962.”  The Board also relied on testimony that “IEPA projects that water systems that add fluoride could see a reduction of 20% to 30% in the cost of chemical addition of fluoride. . . . Chicago estimates a savings of $1,000,000 per year.”

Click here to download the Board’s decision on the rulemaking, and click here to download the determination of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules that no objection will be issued to the new rules.  Check out this video from ABC News discussing the science of fluoride in water, noting that Chicago will need to reduce the amount of fluoride in its water supply:


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