EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE




Fluoride occurs naturally in surface and groundwater and is also added to drinking water by many water systems. Read More.

Fluoride has been promoted as a chemical that reduces dental cavities. Yet it is now well-established that fluoride primarily exerts its protective effects through topical mechanisms, such as sodium fluoride in toothpaste and mouthwash. In contrast, long-term ingestion of fluoride in water increases dental fluorosis, which includes mottling, pitting and weakening of the teeth. EPA's maximum legal limit is set at 4 parts per million (ppm) to prevent skeletal fluorosis, a condition where bones become brittle and more susceptible to fractures, although these effects may occur at lower doses.

Even fluoride levels of 0.7 ppm, the amount of fluoride in drinking water recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service, can result in too much fluoride for bottle-fed babies. EWG recommends that caregivers mix baby formula with fluoride-free water. The National Toxicology Program is investigating the potential for low doses of fluoride to alter thyroid function and childhood brain development.





Samples exceeding legal limit (MCL)


Samples exceeding
health guidelines

Testing results - average by year

YearAverage resultSamples takenDetectionsRange of results
20120.970 ppm220.640 ppm - 1.30 ppm
20130.675 ppm220.640 ppm - 0.710 ppm
20141.21 ppm220.910 ppm - 1.50 ppm
20150.545 ppm220.370 ppm - 0.720 ppm
20161.27 ppm220.840 ppm - 1.70 ppm
20170.175 ppm21ND - 0.350 ppm

ppm = parts per million

State and national drinking water standards and health guidelines

EPA Maximum Contaminant
Level (MCL) 4 ppm

ppm = parts per million

All test results

Date Lab ID Result
2012-05-16AH647850.640 ppm
2012-05-16AH647841.30 ppm
2013-04-10AH988220.640 ppm
2013-04-10AH988210.710 ppm
2014-02-24AI284731.50 ppm
2014-02-24AI284720.910 ppm
2015-01-21AI631160.370 ppm
2015-01-21AI631150.720 ppm
2016-01-14AJ044400.840 ppm
2016-01-14AJ044391.70 ppm
2017-02-14AJ463710.350 ppm