EWG's Tap Water Database — 2019 UPDATE



Tennessee American Water

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
20120.850 ppm220.700 ppm - 1.000 ppm
20130.735 ppm440.650 ppm - 0.840 ppm
20140.927 ppm330.830 ppm - 1.05 ppm
20150.365 ppm21ND - 0.730 ppm
20160.710 ppm110.710 ppm
20170.935 ppm220.820 ppm - 1.05 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 Result
2012-03-130.700 ppm
2012-06-181.000 ppm
2013-01-290.770 ppm
2013-06-050.840 ppm
2013-09-250.680 ppm
2013-12-040.650 ppm
2014-01-200.830 ppm
2014-07-231.05 ppm
2014-10-210.900 ppm
2015-01-120.730 ppm
2016-01-190.710 ppm
2017-01-100.820 ppm
2017-07-111.05 ppm