8 American Dental Association The astounding success of these comparison studies firmly established the practice of water fluoridation as a practical, safe and effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay that would quickly be embraced by other communities. The history of water fluoridation is a classic example of a curious professional making exacting clinical observations which led to epidemiologic investigation and eventually to a safe and effective community- based public health intervention which even today remains the cornerstone of communities’ efforts to prevent tooth decay. In addition to the studies noted above, a number of reviews on fluoride in drinking water have been issued over the years. For example, in 1951 the National Research Council (NRC), of the National Academies, issued its first report stating fluoridation was safe and effective. The NRC has continued to issue reports on fluoride in drinking water (197721 and 199322) with the most recent review published in 2006.23 Additional reviews completed over the ten year period from 2007-2017 include: 2017 Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Information Paper Water Fluoridation: Dental and Other Human Health Outcomes.24 2016 O’Mullane DM, Baez RJ, Jones S, Lennon MA, Petersen PE, Rugg-Gunn AJ, Whelton H, Whitford GM. Fluoride and Oral Health.25 2016 American Water Works Association. Water Fluoridation Principles and Practices. AWWA Manual M4. Sixth edition.26 2015 Water Research Foundation. State of the Science: Community Water Fluoridation.27 2015 The Network for Public Health Law. Issue Brief: Community Water Fluoridation.28 2015 Ireland Health Research Board. Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: An Evidence Review.29 2015 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Federal Panel on Community Water Fluoridation. U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries.30 2014 Public Health England. Water Fluoridation: Health Monitoring Report for England.31 2014 Royal Society of New Zealand and the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence.32 2013 U.S. Community Preventive Services Task Force. The Guide to Community Preventive Services. Preventing Dental Caries: Community Water Fluoridation.33 2011 European Commission of the European Union Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER). Fluoridation.34 2008 Health Canada. Findings and Recommendations of the Fluoride Expert Panel.35 2007 Australian Government. National Health and Medical Research Council A Systematic Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Fluoridation Part A: Review Methodology and Results.36 Water Fluoridation as a Public Health Measure Throughout decades of research and more than 70 years of practical experience, fluoridation of public water supplies has been responsible for dramatically improving the public’s oral health. In 1994, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a report which reviewed public health achievements.37 Along with other successful public health measures such as the virtual eradication of polio and reductions in childhood blood lead levels, fluoridation was lauded as one of the most economical preventive interventions in the nation.37 Because of the important role fluoridation has played in the reduction of tooth decay, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proclaimed community water fluoridation one of ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.1, 2 Other public health achievements included in the 1999 announcement were vaccinations (which have been responsible for the elimination of polio in the Americas), recognition of tobacco use as a health hazard and the decline in deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke. In 2000, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher issued the first ever Surgeon General
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