A PRESSURE group aiming to raise awareness of levels of fluoride in the west Cumbria water supply has launched its own website.
Cumbrians against Fluoridation has been campaigning for the last seven years against what it claims is the use of an untested, unresearched chemical in the area’s drinking water.
It is now taking its fight to the worldwide web and is calling for Cumbrians to share their experiences and concerns over the possible health risks.
Co-founder of the group, Dianne Standen, of Maryport, said: “This is something the group has wanted for a long time.
“We have always felt people in this area should be informed about water fluoridation. This site is easy to access and gives a wide range of information.
“We know that lots of local people are receiving high daily doses of fluoride. Now parents and concerned individuals can log on for information and check the identification of excess fluoride against their own health concerns.”
Mrs Standen believes the Department of Health’s 30-year policy of adding artificial fluoride to the west Cumbrian water supply could be causing untold damage to the health of thousands of residents who have been drinking the water since the late 1960s.
She said the added chemical is of a much higher concentration than that of natural fluoride, which is usually used in toothpaste to give healthy teeth, and is a by-product of fertiliser production.
She said people who get their water supply from Ennerdale and Crummock Water, including those from Whitehaven to Ravenglass, Loweswater and parts of Aspatria, were having artificial fluoride added to it.
She added that up to 50 per cent of the fluoride intake can remain in the human body for life.
The website www.cumbrians-against-fluoridation.org.uk has been designed by Julian Moss, of Cockermouth, who became concerned about the issue of water fluoridation after his Ukrainian wife Olga suffered health problems when she moved to Cockermouth.
The site suggests her problems originated from the local water supply.
Mr Moss said: “If this water was harming my wife, and our two friends, how can you be sure it isn’t harming your own health, or that of your family?”
The group is now urging any local people who have connected the additional fluoride in the water with any health problems they may have to add their story to those already on the website.
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “There have been fluoridation schemes in the UK since the mid-1950s, longer in the USA, where the beneficial effects of fluoridated water were first recognised.
“No evidence of risks to overall health have been identified. Nevertheless, the Department of Health is committed to maintaining a research programme on fluoridation.”