Health News

City of Lincoln fluoride treatment at upper limit while Omaha reduces risks and maintains compliance

Hearing on LB1387 on Thursday, February 15

2/8/24 Update – A hearing will be held on Thursday, February 15, at 1:30 p.m. to hear testimony on LB1387, introduced by Nebraska State Sen. Ben Hansen, Blair. The bill removes the 2008 fluoride mandate for cities and villages with populations over 1,000 and limits the public water supply fluoridation level to no more than 0.7 mg per liter of water.

Get the facts about fluoride: Nebraska Senator Ben Hansen’s Information Sheet

City of Lincoln fluoride treatment at upper limit while Omaha reduces risks and maintains compliance

Ahead of a federal court ruling on fluoride toxicity, the City of Lincoln may have an opportunity to modify its drinking water fluoridation program to reduce toxic effects in the community, especially for infants, while still complying with State regulations. Findings from a 10 month investigation show potential for Lincoln to reduce fluoride treatment significantly, by up to 0.3 ppm (or mg/L), within a minimum operating level of 0.5 to 0.7 ppm, while remaining in compliance with State regulations.

CDC Community Water Fluoridation FAQ – Page last reviewed: November 3, 2015
  • A June 2023 CDC report recommended a minimum fluoride level of 0.6 ppm to a target of 0.7 ppm, a target set in 2015, as effective in preventing tooth decay.
  • An American Dental Association 2011 report recommended non-fluoridated water for infants and advised dentists to inform patients.
  • In July 2023, a Nebraska NDEE representative acknowledged that “..the amount of fluoride prescribed in [DHHS] regulations is based on an outdated CDC recommendation (0.9 – 1.0 ppm)…” and that “public water systems are encouraged to operate their fluoridation programs according to the updated recommendation…” within a “range of 0.2 ppm below… to 0.2 ppm above.” This guidance sets an operational range of 0.5 to 0.9 ppm.
  • Comparing fluoride levels in 2022: The Lincoln Water Quality Report treatment level goal was 0.8 – 1.5 ppm with a reported actual range of 0.899 – 0.901 ppm. Omaha MUD treatment level target was 0.7 ppm with a reported actual range of 0.571 – 0.806.
  • Lincoln’s 2022 fluoride sample collection report ranged from 0.723 to 0.931 mg/L. Sample collection reports for July 2021 to 2023 show a range from 0.697 to 0.972 mg/L while the average fluoride treatment for the same period ranged from 0.87 to 0.91 mg/L.
CDC Community Water Fluoridation FAQ – Page last reviewed: November 3, 2015

The final phase of the federal trial in the case of Food and Water Watch et al. v. the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning fluoride harms began last Wednesday. There is significant evidence that the harms of mass fluoridation, including neurotoxicity, outweigh the benefits and that topical fluoride treatment is most effective in preventing tooth decay.

Neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects of fluoride were outlined in a draft report released under a judge’s ruling last March from the DHHS National Toxicology Program. A response is pending from Lincoln’s Mayor and the Lancaster County Health Director to a request regarding the draft report, notification of the public and local Boards of the potential harms, and consideration of mitigating the harms by lowering the treatment level.

There is optimism by some people in the community that the federal trial will end the practice of artificial fluoridation of public water supplies in the U.S. The Fluoride Action Network, a party to the case against the EPA, provides email updates for the ongoing trial, including the information below, to access documents and watch or listen to the proceedings.

The U.S. District Court, Northern District of California has created a web page specifically for the trial, “Due to the level of interest in this case,”according to the court. It will be used to “notify attorneys, journalists, and interested members of the public of important news and information about access to proceedings and to case information.” Watch or Listen: Live Stream on Zoom
Webinar ID: 161 991 1861
Password: 912881

Join by Phone: Phone: (669) 254-5252 or (646) 828-7666
International numbers:

Read more about the City of Lincoln fluoride program here and here the “Public Water Fluoridation in Nebraska” including details of public records request.

Tracy Aksamit

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