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Village receives fluoridation award

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On Tuesday, Aug. 24, the Village of Yellow Springs will be honored by the Ohio Department of Health Bureau of Community Health Services, or BCHS, for the Village’s more than 50 years of fluoridating local water. The ODH will present the Village with a certificate of appreciation for its fluoridation practice at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

The award is being made on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, the American Dental Association and the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors, according to a press release from the ODH.

“The Ohio Department of Health is proud of the Yellow Springs commitment to fluoridation,” said BCHS Chief Dr. Mark Siegal in the press release. “Dental care is the number one unmet health care need in Ohio and fluoridation can dramatically reduce tooth decay.”

However, fluoridation has become a controversial issue in the village in recent months, after the Village Environmental Commission last spring recommended that  Village government discontinue the fluoridation practice due to health concerns. Council has stated that this fall it will sponsor a forum to present all sides of the issue.

According to the ODH press release, 92 percent of Ohioans drink fluoridated water, and the CDC describes municipal water fluoridation as “one of the 10 area public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Yellow Springs has been fluoridating its water since 1959. Since then, water plant personnel have adjusted the natural fluoride level in the water to 1.0 parts per million, the optimal amount for good dental health, according to the release, which states that those who drink fluoridated water have up to 40 percent fewer cavities than those who don’t.

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