What is FLUID?
The Fluoride Legislative User Information Database or "FLUID" is a comprehensive database containing historical information on legal cases decided by U.S. courts and current information on federal and state policies regarding community water fluoridation. Local policies that affect significant U.S. population bases are being added over time.
Why was FLUID created?
FLUID was created to be an up-to-date, user-friendly tool to answer questions about the legal and policy status of community water fluoridation in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The goal of FLUID is to enable users to access information based on legal fact and to be a resource that allows them to compare their current or proposed policies with others from across the country.
How was FLUID created?
The FLUID project was initiated and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The database was completed by and is maintained through a collaboration between the Children’s Dental Health Project and the Health Law and Policy Program on Law and Government at the American University’s Washington College of Law. Project staff research pertinent case law via Westlaw and other online legal search engines, and state and local policies are cataloged via various individual state policy databases and Municode.
How do I use FLUID?
FLUID is broken down into four primary sections that can be navigated to and from the menu links at the top-right corner of the web site.
- Search: From here users can search the entire contents of FLUID via any combination of keyword, content type, and case topic type. Multiple states and content types can be selected and unselected by control/command-clicking the available menu items. The case topic menu will automatically generate suggested search categories back on the user’s keyboard input to assist in optimizing searches. Users unfamiliar with fluoridation case law are encouraged to use the case topics option to get an overview of the various issues, while experienced users should utilize the key word option for more inclusive results.
- Case Law: This page allows the user to limit their search to legal opinions from state and federal courts. Each case law also contains links to original source materials. This section is searchable by menus organized by state, case topic, and key word. Multiple items can be selected and unselected in each menu by control/command-click. Users unfamiliar with fluoridation case law are encouraged to use the case topics option to get an overview of the various issues, while experienced users should utilize the key word option for more inclusive results.
- State and Local Action: This page allows the user to limit their search to policies, which includes state statutes, state administrative codes and regulation, and local ordinances. This section is searchable by menus organized by state, policy type, and key word. Multiple items can be selected and unselected in each menu by control/command-click.
- Federal Action: This page has links to current federal actions and policies concerning community water fluoridation. It also includes updates from these federal agencies on proposed changes to current regulations and processes.
Key word searches can be utilized as follows:
- Key Words - Simply entering words into the Key Word field will search FLUID for all instances of all words inputted by the user.
- "Key Words" - Using quotation marks around a phrase or set of words within the Key Word field will search FLUID for the exact phrasing inputted within the quotations.
- Key Word AND/OR Key Word - Using modifiers such as AND and OR between key words in the Key Word search field will search FLUID for either instances of both words (AND) or instances of one or the other words (OR).