South Shore: Health officials fear too much fluoride in public water is affecting children’s health

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay. Water naturally contains fluoride but there are national and state guidelines that all suppliers need to conform to which requires adding more fluoride to public water.

But now the U.S Department of Health and Human Services is thinking about lowering the required fluoride level in water to .7 milligrams per liter.

One mother in the Town of Hull says her 10-month old daughter now has dental fluorosis, which is staining of the teeth, after using tap water to make her daughter’s formula. She explains no home remedies can do the trick, “Don’t boil it because it becomes more concentrated. So right now for my entire family I am buying water because she’s still on formula but also when I cook and I boil I don’t want to use the fluoride.”

Hull, Hingham, and North Cohasset are supplied by Aquarion Water, a private company. The state guideline for fluoride levels range from .9 to 1.2 milligrams per liter.

Aquarion’s fluoride level is 1.0 milligrams per liter which is slightly higher than the proposed national level of .7.

Board of Health members from all three towns met Wednesday night and agreed that decreasing the concentration of the mineral is a safe bet and said a vote to ask Aquarion to do so may be in the future.

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.