Glenwood, Malvern Earn Awards From CDC For Water Systems

Glenwood has been fluoridating its water since the 1950s.

Glenwood Municipal Utilities and Malvern Water Supply are among 94 community water systems in Iowa being awarded a Water Fluoridation Quality Award from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to an announcement last week from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the award recognizes water systems that “achieved excellence in community water fluoridation by maintaining a consistent level of fluoride in drinking water throughout 2020.”

A total of 1,292 public water systems in 29 states received the award.

“It is exciting to have 94 Iowa water systems recognized on a national level for their commitment to oral health,” said Dr. Bob Russell, dental director for the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). “I congratulate all of the community water systems for their efforts to provide safe, dependable drinking water to our communities- - including helping to prevent cavities using water fluoridation.”

Glenwood and many other communities in southwest Iowa began adding fluoride to their water in the 1950s, despite unsubstantiated claims from conspiracy theorists that fluoridation was a communist means of poisoning Americans and undermining the U.S. public health system. Community water fluoridation is now recognized by the CDC as one of the top public health achievements of the 20th Century.

“Water fluoridation is one of the best investments that a community can make in maintaining the oral health of its citizens. It is equally as effective in preventing cavities in children and adults,” said Casey Hannan, MPH, director for the CDC Division of Oral Health. “Fluoridation is also highly cost effective. Studies continue to show that for every $1 a community invests in water fluoridation, $20 are saved in dental treatment costs.”

The CDC recommends water fluoridation as “one of the most practical, cost-effective, equitable, and safe measures a community can take to prevent cavities and improve oral health.”

The Bureau of Oral and Health Delivery Systems at IDPH monitors the fluoride levels of Iowa communities and provides information and assistance to water supply professionals, healthcare professionals and the public. Russell said IDPH strongly supports CDC-approved fluoridation programs.


The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
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