The water superintendent of a Vermont town unilaterally decided to lower the amount of fluoridation added to the water supply–dropping it below state-recommeded levels–because he was concerned about the safety of the levels of the Chinese-manufactured products, the Associated Press reports.
Water fluoridation has been an accepted practice in municipal water systems in the United States since the 1950s. The process, which involves adding three separate chemicals into the water processing system, increases the amount of fluoride in the water and allows the water system to provide supplemental fluoride which strengthens teeth, particularly with children.
Kendall Chamberlin, Richmond, Vermont’s water and wastewater superintendent, told the town water and sewer commission in September that he had unilaterally lowered the levels of fluoridation in the town’s system because he had concerns that two of the components used in fluoridation were manufactured in China.
“My duty is to take reasonable care and judgment for the protection of public health, safety and the environment of my customers,” he said, adding that “to err on the side of caution is not a bad position to be in.”