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'Where the Ouch Went'

July 15, 1988

Your editorial "Where the Ouch Went" (June 25) points out a serious deficiency in most drinking water in the Los Angeles area. Community residents, especially children, will experience a 50-65% reduction in dental caries, or tooth decay, when drinking water is adjusted to 1 part per million fluoride.

Over 55% of this nation's population drinks community water properly adjusted for fluoride content.

Unfortunately, few communities in Los Angeles County have adopted this measure and consequently do not receive its public health benefits.

Beverly Hills and Long Beach are the only cities in Los Angeles County with properly adjusted fluoride content in the water; this represents approximately 438,700 people or 5% of the total county population.

In the United States, the city of Los Angeles is the only community of over 1 million whose water is not fluoridated. Moreover, of the 50 largest cities in the country, Los Angeles is the largest non-fluoridated city.

Editorials such as yours are important to inform the public and decision makers regarding fluoridation.

Fluoridation is a proven effective, inexpensive and safe public health measure for the prevention of tooth decay. Fluoridation remains today as one of our greatest public health bargains.

CASWELL A. EVANS JR.

Assistant Director

of Health Services

Director, Public Health

Programs and Services

Los Angeles County

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