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On February 10, officials from The Health Trust, a charitable healthcare foundation based out of Silicon Valley, California, unveiled their updated plan to fluoridate San Jose's water during a meeting at Santa Clara University, the Mercury News reports. Fluoride has been used in municipal water systems since the 1940s to help improve dental health.
Health Trust CEO Frederick Ferrer said that the organization will partner with Washington, D.C.-based Pew Charitable Trusts and First 5 Santa Clara County to initiate fundraising for the project, which he feels is crucial to the health of San Jose residents.
"We cannot drill our way out of this problem," Ferrer said. "The science is settled, the law is settled. For us it's about the political will and the costs. It's about getting an engineering study done," he added.
San Jose is currently one the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. without fluoridated water. The implementation of the project, which has yet to be finalized, would cost approximately $18 million.
More than 60 percent of the U.S. population on public water supply systems has access to water fluoridated. Fluoride has been proven to prevent or even reverse tooth decay.
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