IN your article concerning the introduction of fluoride into local drinking water (The Cumberland News, October 3), Eric Rooney, the dental health consultant for Cumbria, makes a number of statements that deserve further scrutiny.
The first concerns the amount of fluoride people are exposed to.
This is a crucial issue as 50 per cent of the fluoride taken in on a daily basis remains in the body for life, accumulating in the skeleton.
In countries with high levels of natural fluoride, the damage that this can cause, skeletal fluorosis, is a crippling, painful condition.
Levels of fluoride intake in fluoridated areas depend on individual lifestyles but need to be known as they will determine the possibility of long and short-term health problems.
Exploring fluoride intake should have been a matter of priority for health authorities in fluoridated west Cumbria. However they have neglected to test levels of fluoride intake and refused individual requests for this information.
In 2002 Cumbrians against Fluoridation sampled 30 people and tests were analysed in a reputable laboratory.
There was a wide variety of fluoride levels, some very high, which reflected the fact that everyone has individual intake and tolerance to fluoride.
When fluoride is added to water everyone receives an indiscriminate and undetermined dose of this chemical and it is misleading to allow people to think that the one part fluoride per million parts water which health bosses want to introduce into water is the only source of fluoride that local people will be receiving.
Tea, toothpaste, fish, crops irrigated with fluoridated water, some medicines and food processed using fluoridated water would all contribute to a substantial daily dose.
Mr Rooney then goes on to say; ‘for other serious negative [health] effects there was insufficient evidence’.
As the health authorities have failed to test or undertake the effective research advised by Government scientists, they should not be allowed to dismiss valid health concerns on the basis of ‘insufficient evidence’.
In no other area of health concern, be it smoking, alcohol use or any other lifestyle issue is there any thought of or proposal to address the problem by use of chemicals in the water supply. It raises huge questions as to why an inadequately-researched and potentially-damaging chemical is being touted as a mass remedy for tooth decay.
We can only hope that the Cumbrian people and media explore and expose this proposal to mass medicate as an indiscriminate, clumsy, inefficient and dangerous action. See www.cumbrians-against-fluoridation.org for more information.
Cumbrians against Fluoridation