By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Fluoride levels in Keizer’s drinking water will fall after federal health and environmental agencies recommended it.

The level of fluoride added to Keizer’s water will be at about 0.7 ppm (parts per million). Prior level was about 1 to 1.1 ppm, said Public Works Director Rob Kissler. The American Water Works Association advised water utilities nationwide on the matter.

“These are the professionals that study this,” Kissler said. “We here at the city rely on the professionals to determine what the appropriate levels are of fluoride feed rates in the public drinking water supply.

“We’re being proactive,” Kissler added. “And if something changes down the line we can always adjust.”

The change comes from a recommendation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). According to the agency, “these actions will maximize the health benefits of water fluoridation, an important tool in the prevention of tooth decay while reducing the possibility of children receiving too much fluoride.”

Federal officials state they’re attempting to strike a balance between preventing tooth decay and giving children with developing teeth too much fluoride. According to HHS, fluorosis can develop from too much fluoride. The condition generally appears as “barely visible lacy white markings or spots on the enamel,” the release states.