Fluoride injections in public drinking water started several years ago. Now, activist groups claim the American Dental Association has long misinformed people on the risks associated with fluoridation.
"I think it's just a safety concern."
We asked ACU Chemistry Professor. Dr. Eric Hargedree, to help us find the answer of just what potential health risks fluoride has, and if Abilene's levels could be dangerous.
"Up until this point, Abilene's fluoridation levels have been right at the lower end of the range recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency," said Dr. Hargedree.
The EPA recently lowered their recommended level of fluoride from a range of .07-1.2 to just .07. In 2010, Abilene's level met this range, and water officials say they will continue to follow any recommendations the government sets.
"The guys stay on top of the regulations and they do change quite often. But we do stay on top of that," said Director of Water Utilities, Tommy O'Brien.
Still, some studies suggest even a presence of fluoride in drinking water can potentially be of harm.
Fluoridation of Abilene's water was voted in about twelve years ago.
Because of the potential for harm, many cities across the nation have begun to do away with fluoridation all together.
There have been very few fluoride related deaths in the U.S. The deaths that have happened were linked machine malfunctions.
The Abilene Water Department says their staff is constantly monitoring levels to keep that from happening here.
There have been numerous studies in medical journals that reveal fluoride is also linked to bone damage, allergies, lead-levels in children, thyroid disease and other potential problems.
Still, there's debate in the medical community as to how great the risk is.