A proposal has been passed by the members of Cavan County Council to ask the executive to write to Irish Water seeking an end to the practice of adding fluoride to public water supplies.
Passed at a meeting of councillors earlier this month, the meeting was told the decision is dictated, at the present time at least, by the Department of Health under the Fluoridation of Water Supplies Regulations 2007 and European Communities (Drinking Water) (No.2) Regulations, 2007.
The fluoridation of our water started in 1964 after the introduction of the Fluoridation of Water Supplies Act 1960, and Ireland is only one of four EU states that support fluoridation of water. Switzerland was the last European country to end fluoridation in 2000. Sinn Féin’s Paddy McDonald raised the issue at the Cavan meeting, stating there has been widespread opposition to fluoridation since Gladys Ryan took her case to the High Court in 1964 on the basis that citizens had no choice but to drink medicated water.
“This over exposure to fluoride has serious side effects,” Cllr McDonald claimed, including dental fluorosis, a developmental disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during tooth development.
“The evidence against fluoridation is overwhelming. It is time to stop this mass medication,” he said, calling on fellow members to back his motion, as their parties had done against successive governments.
Fine Gael’s Madeleine Argue backed her chamber colleague, seconding the motion to ban the addition of fluoride to local water supplies.
She claimed the chemical is dangerous at high doses and that people get enough fluoride from modern toothpastes.
However, Director of Services for Environmental Section with Cavan County Council, John Brannigan, reminded the meeting issues concerning water services are now under the remit of Irish Water. But, as an agent of the semi-state company, the local authority will continue to follow HSE and regulatory advice and requirements, in relation to the appropriate treatment for public drinking water supplies.