Kentucky lawmakers want to end mandatory fluoride in tap water. Dentists disagree.

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Arguing against government overreach, two Kentucky lawmakers are sponsoring legislation that would let local communities stop fluoridating their drinking water.

Today, nearly every glass of Kentucky tap water contains trace amounts of fluoride, a mineral added for the past seven decades to reduce tooth decay. The state requires any public water system that serves 1,500 or more people to fluoridate its supply. Only a handful of Kentucky’s 423 public water systems can and do opt out.

To state Sen. Steve West and state Rep. Mark Hart, both Republican, that’s troubling. The lawmakers say they have seen research linking excessive fluoride consumption to health problems. If the substance doesn’t need to be in water for purification, then why should the state force local communities to add it, and at their own expense, they asked in interviews Monday.

(Read more at the Herald-Leader)