Fluoride To Be Removed From Pottstown, PA Water

(Teresa McMinn)   Removal of the compound — which in Pottstown’s case comes from China — could take up to nine months.

The Pottstown Borough Authority on Tuesday voted to remove fluoride from the public water supply.

Carrying out the decision, however, will take several months, Brent Wagner, utilities coordinator, said on Wednesday.

The state Dept. of Environmental Protection has been notified of the change — which must be advertised before an ammendement is enacted.

There were no local residents at Tuesday’s authority meeting.

That’s been a trend for the issue.

Earlier this month, the authority held three public hearings on whether to remove fluoride from the public water supply.

No Pottstown residents attended.


The authority serves 12,000 meters in Pottstown, Upper, Lower and West Pottsgrove townships and North Coventry Township.

Removal of fluoride — which, in the borough’s case comes from China and is entered into the water supply as a liquid — could mean a savings of up to $55,000 per year.

Across the state, roughly 110 water systems add fluoride to their water and 2,065 do not.

Pottstown started adding fluoride to its water in the 1960s. Ever since, the addition of the compound to water has remained controversial around the world.

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services website states that HHS and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this year announced standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water “to provide the maximum protection to the American people to support good dental health, especially in children.”

HHS proposed the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water “be set at the lowest end of the current optimal range to prevent tooth decay, and EPA is initiating review of the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.”

The American Dental Association in January commended federal agencies responsible for public health and safety for “recalibrating the ratio of fluoride to water that they consider optimal based on scientific evaluation and the full appreciation of fluoride received from all sources,” the organization states in a press release.

“As a science-based organization, the ADA supports the Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation to set the level for optimally fluoridated water at 0.7 parts per million. This adjustment will provide an effective level of fluoride to reduce the incidence of tooth decay while minimizing the rate of fluorosis in the general population.”

But the Fluoride Action Network’s website states, “Over the past ten years a large body of peer-reviewed science has raised concerns that fluoride may present unreasonable health risks, particularly among children, at levels routinely added to tap water in American cities … In summary, we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk.”

And according to the International Anti-Fluoridation Database, “We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic.”

The Associated Press in January reported, “A scientific report five years ago said that people who consume a lifetime of too much fluoride  — an amount over EPA’s limit of 4 milligrams — can lead to crippling bone abnormalities and brittleness.”


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