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
20120.657 ppm330.560 ppm - 0.760 ppm
20131.000 ppm111.000 ppm
20140.920 ppm110.920 ppm
20150.645 ppm220.630 ppm - 0.660 ppm
20160.610 ppm110.610 ppm
20170.580 ppm110.580 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
2012-05-07AH583340.760 ppm
2012-10-22AH824020.650 ppm
2012-12-03AH850030.560 ppm
2013-07-08AI058341.000 ppm
2014-02-26AI287360.920 ppm
2015-01-27AI634790.630 ppm
2015-11-10AJ008270.660 ppm
2016-02-08AJ061180.610 ppm
2017-02-07AJ461350.580 ppm