The addition of fluoride to public water systems is naively accepted by most Americans as a purported method of reducing tooth decay, but the toxic properties of fluoride and its effect on the human body are virtually unbeknownst to the public. Many lawsuits have been brought over the last thirty years seeking to enjoin the artificial fluoridation of public water, but courts have always upheld the statutes as a valid exercise of state police power. However, this police power is not absolute; statutes enacted to protect the health of citizens must not violate any constitutionally guaranteed rights. Those statutes which impinge on fundamental rights must pass the demanding standard of judicial review called strict scrutiny. Because two recent Supreme Court decisions have held that compulsory medication against one's will is a constitutional violation of the 14th Amendment liberty interest, this Comment argues that fluoridation statutes will not pass a strict scrutiny analysis and that the United States Supreme Court should find these statutes to be in contravention of the Constitution.
Recommended CitationDouglas A. Balog, Fluoridation of Public Water Systems: Valid Exercise of State Police Power or Constitutional Violation, 14 Pace Envtl. L. Rev. 645 (1997)
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