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Ohio's Fluoridation Law

In 1969, the Ohio General Assembly was convinced that community water fluoridation could greatly improve the dental health of people in Ohio. The General Assembly passed a law that required public water systems that serve more than 5,000 persons to fluoridate. The law gave communities served by these systems the option to be exempt from the law through a special vote held within 240 days of the law’s passage.

Thirty Ohio cities held a special vote in 1970 and were exempted from the law. Since then, nine of those cities have reversed their decision. Athens, Bellefontaine, Bellevue, Fairborn, Lebanon, Middletown, Delaware and Tipp City are now fluoridated. In November 2016, voters in Wilmington voted to fluoridate their drinking water. However, 21 cities remain exempt from fluoridation.

Communities with water systems that serve fewer than 5,000 persons can choose to start fluoridating. If your community wants to start fluoridating, contact the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) to learn how to start providing this valuable public health measure to your residents.

The Ohio EPA is the state agency that regulates the fluoridation of public water systems. Visit the Ohio Revised Code for information about laws and rules about water fluoridation.

Water treatment plants must monitor fluoride levels daily and submit monthly reports to the Ohio EPA. Water systems that fluoridate the water correctly for all 12 months each year are recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for excellence.


Page Updated: 4/4/2017 
Page Reviewed: 6/1/2018