Officials applaud dismissal of water fluoridation lawsuit

Oct. 21, 2004
Dismissal allows water fluoridation to continue in Escondido, Calif.

Citing numerous legal precedents, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Jacqueline M. Stern has dismissed all claims in a lawsuit brought against the City of Escondido.

The dismissal enables the city to continue optimal water fluoridation, which began in September.

Judge Stern's ruling, which was made Oct. 18 and is now considered final, is a significant one for statewide public health.

It paves the way for other cities to continue plans to improve its residents' oral health with water fluoridation, say officials with the California Dental Association Foundation (CDAF).

"Judge Stern's decision is not only for Escondido, but also for
millions of Californians in the state who seek the benefits of water
fluoridation," said Jon Roth, CAE, CDAF executive director. "Cities
such as Escondido and Santa Maria are working very hard to advance water fluoridation for its citizens through the California
Fluoridation Act (AB733) and the recently passed SB 96. These laws were created in a bipartisan effort to improve oral health for
Californians, and the decision by Judge Stern allows those laws to
serve residents in Escondido, Santa Maria and other cities," said Roth.

"Our thanks go to the several groups of health professionals supporting this effort, including the Dental Health Foundation and the California Fluoridation Task Force, a statewide group of oral health agencies and professionals. Particular recognition goes to the California Department of Health Services (DHS) and the San Diego Fluoridation Coalition (SDFC), which have been instrumental in water fluoridation work in the San Diego area," added Roth.

In August, the Helix Water District accepted an offer by CDAF to
receive funds to begin building infrastructure to offer its residents
optimally fluoridated water -- again, largely due to DHS and SDFC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently
named water fluoridation as one of the top 10 public health measures in the 20th Century.

"We are delighted with the court's decision," said Marjorie Stocks, M.P.H., project director for the California Fluoridation Task Force. "With this ruling, Californians can have another measure of
protection against a preventable disease -- dental decay," added

For more specific information on the tentative ruling go to: and enter case number: GIN015280.

The CDA Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of Californians by linking the dental profession with community needs. The CDA Foundation partners with funding organizations to increase access to oral health care services for underserved people, particularly children, their caregivers and the elderly.