Other Philadelphia Fluoride Documents
  1. Dec. 5, 1951 Ordinance of Authorization & 1951 Health Code (Amended in 1961)
  2. Sep. 22, 1954 Memorandum of Understanding & Amendment
  3. 1990 Fluoride Statement
  4. 2000 Philadelphia Water Department Cover Letter
  5. Zinc Orthophosphate


The Philadelphia Water Department feeds fluoride into the water supply system, as a service to the Philadelphia Health Department, in compliance with the Philadelphia Health Code (ordinance 6-214), established December 5, 1951, and under permit provisions of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Health, issued July 22, 1952, at a concentration of 1.0 milligrams per liter. This level is within the current maximum contaminant limit established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and in accordance with the United States Public Health Service, Division of Dental Public Health Guidelines.

The Philadelphia Water Department does not have the authority to cease feeding or alter the concentration unless directed by the Health Department of the city of Philadelphia, as stipulated by the Philadelphia Health Code.

Preliminary study results* have recently been publicized regarding the relationship between fluoride consumption in drinking water and the development of cancer. The dose-response concentration where a toxicological relationship was found is 45 times greater than that found in Philadelphia drinking water. Fluoridation of drinking water in Philadelphia has been an accepted practice for 38 years to promote the health of children of all races and socioeconomic classes.

All inquiries concerning the decision to fluoridate Philadelphia's drinking water should be directed to the Philadelphia Health Department.

Dated 1990

* Note: The preliminary results mentioned in this document were for a congressionally mandated fluoride cancer study conducted by the National Toxicology Program in 1990. Read the notes from a 1995 interview with Dr. William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor of EPA's Office of Drinking Water, who was prematurely fired for criticizing the NTP's decision to weaken the link between fluoride and cancer.

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Last modified: 17 August 2001