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Critics Try to Postpone SoCal Water Fluoridation

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Aired 4/19/09

An environmental group wants Southern California's biggest water district to wait before fluoridating the tap water. The Metropolitan Water District says fluoride is safe and prevents cavities. But a new report disputes that. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has the story.

The Environmental Working Group doesn't take issue with fluoride itself. But the nonprofit worries the district wants to put too much of it in the water. Bill Walker says that can cause serious health problems, especially in young children.

Walker: Almost 15 percent of children under age 1, and almost 13 percent of children under age 2, are going to be receiving a dose of fluoride every day that exceeds what the EPA and other government agencies say is safe.

Other agencies include the National Academy of Sciences and the American Dental Association.

Walker says 12,000 young San Diego children could be at risk for diseases such as fluorosis, which causes tooth decay.

The Metropolitan Water District plans to start fluoridating in October.

Andrew Phelps, KPBS News.

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