This just in…
Australian health authorities are reviewing the case for fluoride in drinking water amid concerns scientific evidence supporting the benefits and risks to people’s health may have shifted.
While most Australians have been regularly consuming low amounts of fluoride since it was added to drinking water in the 1960s and 1970s to prevent tooth decay, several controversial studies in recent years have suggested the mineral may be linked to low intelligence in children and thyroid problems that can cause weight gain, fatigue and depression.
Today the National Health and Medical Research Council revealed that a 2012 study linking very high levels of fluoride to low IQ among some Chinese children prompted it to commission a new review of the health effects of the celebrated public health intervention.
Related: Fluoride On
Thanks Mark Geary
There is a strong anti-fluoridation campaign targeting city and county councillors throughout the State. This campaign seeks to have motions passed calling for the fluoridation of water to end in the area of the relevant council.
The benefits for oral health of adding fluoride to water are well established. There is no scientific evidence that fluoride, at the rate at which it is added to Irish water, is a threat to any aspect of the health of our citizens.
We are asking councillors to review the published scientific information before supporting a motion, which if implemented by Government, would damage people’s oral health for years.
The 2002 North South Survey of Children’s Oral Health showed measurable benefits in oral health among those aged five and 15 in areas with fluoridated water in the Republic of Ireland when measured against the oral health of children in Northern Ireland where the water is not fluoridated. The only negative demonstrated by the research was a slight increase in mild discolouration of teeth, which resulted in a decrease from 0.9 parts per million to 0.7 parts per million in the rate of fluoridation.
If you remove fluoride from water, even allowing for the presence of fluoride in toothpastes, our citizens will suffer from increases in tooth decay with all its associated pain and financial cost. At a time when the Government provides almost no support for the oral health of our citizens, and when the public dental service is severely strained because of cutbacks and the moratorium on recruitment, the removal of fluoride would be a retrograde step….
Dr Peter Gannon, President Irish Dental Association, Fintan Hourihan, CEO Irish Dental Association and Professor Leo Fa Stassen, Trinity College.
Sinn Féin Dublin City Councillor Anthony Connaghton outside City Hall discussing his motion to end fluoridation in Dublin Water ahead of the council’s monthly meeting last night.
The motion was carried.
Cllr Connaghton sez:
“My motion seeking to end water fluoridation in Ireland was approved at Dublin City Council last night. 98% of Europe has rejected the practice of water fluoridation and it was banned in Holland in 1976. Numerous studies worldwide have indicated potential harm to human health from adding fluoride to our drinking water. Why are we taking this risk when dental health can be dealt with by conventional methods?”
[Inchydoney in West Cork]
“Research into the mindsets of anti-vaccination campaigners suggests that they tend to exhibit traits such as conspiratorial thinking, reasoning flaws, a reliance on anecdote over data and low cognitive complexity in thinking patterns.”
“Similar traits are seen in the anti–fluoride movement, with similar mistrust of health interventions. It may not be a coincidence that the current drive against fluoride in Ireland emanates from West Cork, a region of the country with an extremely low vaccine uptake that has been the epicentre of recent measles outbreaks.”
Thanks Senan Kerr
Further to a health report that recommends the “mass fluoridation” of water in the UK.
It is cheap, costing about 40p per resident per year in areas where it is done, and, according to Public Health England, effective at preventing tooth decay. And yet there has been no new scheme for 25 years. Why?
The most recent attempt to fluoridate water – in Hampshire – offers some clues. The health authority instructed the local water company to fluoridate supplies in 2009 for 200,000 residents in and around Southampton amid concern about high rates of tooth decay.
But the move was met by vigorous opposition. A resident took the health authority to court and the local councils turned against the idea.
They question whether it is right that the state should make such decisions without gaining informed consent, saying fluoride is effectively a medicine and therefore people should be given a choice over whether to take it….
“…So where should the line should be drawn? History tells us the answer is not always immediately clear. Looking back, there was huge debate over interventions that have now been widely accepted, such as the seat belt laws and, more recently, the ban on smoking in public places…..”
Ireland, of course, is one of only two countries in the world with mandatory fluoridation.
So how’s that been working out for us?
ARAN supporter Laura Jane Dalton,with Hannah Unger, locked herself into a parked car in Dublin [This afternoon] to get your attention and illustrate what animals left in hot cars must endure.
(Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland)
From left Aisling Fitzgibbon, Sarah Moore and Magda Tatar of The Girl Against Fluoride [an advocacy group taking the government to court for “adding untested chemicals ” in the Irish water supply] indulge in a ‘stripping event’ to raise public awareness of their action in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, this afternoon. The boys are the fluoride.
(Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland)
My two spaniels (Mel and Lou) drink rainwater in preference to tap water containing fluoride. Animal instinct is worth noting when even the dogs in the street are aware of something unnatural grouped with bromine, chlorine and iodine in our drinking water.
Their teeth, by the way, are in perfect condition! – Yours, etc,
(Picture posed by models)