Fluoridation war continues
 

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Fluoridation war continues

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Fluoridation war continues

 

Fluoridation war continues

Health chiefs have been told by the Government to use the new laws on fluoridation introduced in March to force water companies to add fluoride to their supplies.

The move is the biggest attempt for more than 20 years to extend water fluoridation across England.

In a letter sent to health executives, the then chief dental officer Professor Raman Bedi said fluoridation is now a, ‘realistic option of reducing health inequalities, which primary care trusts should include in their consideration of measures to improve the oral health of their populations’.

His letter explains the procedures health authorities would need to follow to instruct water companies to fluoridate supplies.
But he adds that health authorities must test public opinion through a survey and focus groups before any new schemes go ahead. There will be a need to show strong local support.
A 1985 ruling effectively left the decision as to whether fluoride should be added to a water supply up to the water
companies.

But they did not want to be responsible for public health decisions and were loath to act for fear of being sued.
The 2003 Water Act gave the 28 strategic health authorities the final say over water fluoridation.

Now the laws have been firmed up, health chiefs have been told to use the new powers to add fluoride to their supplies.

A Department of Health spokesperson told Dentistry Magazine; ‘Water fluoridation is one of the more efficient and cost-effective of possible oral health promotion measures. The new Regulations approved by Parliament in March 2005 allow health authorities to introduce fluoride in the water supply, but only after a public consultation has taken place.’

The British Dental Association has welcomed the move. It sees water fluoridation as a way of narrowing the current health inequalities.

Opponents claim the risks from fluoridating drinking water are largely unknown and can cause a range of problems, from tooth mottling to cancer.

At present, six million people in the UK, including the Midlands and the North East, have fluoride in their water supplies.

 Posted on : Thu 10th - Nov - 2005

 

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