253723 Update of EPA Office of Water activities related to fluoride

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:10 PM

Joyce Donohue, PhD, RD , Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC
The U.S. EPA Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) and Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for fluoride from National Public Water Systems were established in 1986 as 4 mg F/L. They were derived for protection against crippling skeletal fluorosis in adults. As a result of the 2003 review of EPS's drinking water regulations, the Agency funded a review of new data on fluoride health effects and exposure by the National Research Council (NRC). The NRC report recommended that severe dental fluorosis be considered as an adverse health effect because pitting of the tooth enamel reduced its protective function. Subsequent to the NRC report the EPA Office of Water conducted a dose-response analysis for severe dental fluorosis and a study of current population exposures to fluoride from drinking water, diet, toothpaste and other sources. The dose-response analysis utilized the study by Dean (1942) to identify the concentration in drinking water associated with a 0.5% prevalence of severe dental fluorosis among children. After adjusting for drinking water intakes, dietary fluoride, and body weights, a reference dose of 0.08 mg/kg/day was derived. The reference dose is expected to be protective for severe dental fluorosis during the period of enamel formation for permanent teeth. The exposure analysis indicated that some children younger than age 7 may be exposed to fluoride from all sources at levels that cause severe dental fluorosis. The EPA finding is supported by the increase in the levels of moderate and severe dental fluorosis within the U.S. population over the last several decades

Learning Areas:
Environmental health sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify key factors that EPA has to consider when evaluating whether it is appropriate to revise the MCLG/MCL for fluoride in drinking water for the U.S.A.

Keywords: Water Quality, Regulations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead author for the Environmental Protection Agency 2010 dose-response and exposure assessments for fluoride. I have 30-years of experience in risk assessment for chemicals present in drinking water for the U.S. EPA and other agencies. I hold a Ph.D. in biochemistry and am a Registered Dietitian.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.