JUST because [Wexford] County Councillors passed a motion calling for an end to fluoridation of the public water supply, it doesn’t mean it will happen, the January meeting of Gorey Municipal District heard.
Cllr Mary Farrell opened up the discussion asking for details of when fluoride would stop being used in the public supply. Water Services engineer Mark Collins replied that he hasn’t been told to do anything different, as it’s a national scheme, paid for by the HSE.
‘But it was agreed,’ insisted Cllr Farrell.
‘That doesn’t mean it will happen,’ responded Cllr Anthony Donohoe.
‘We should follow it up,’ said Cllr Farrell.
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin, who originally proposed the motion at the full Council meeting the previous week, said there are powers there for the Council to take the lead. He pointed out that it costs €4 million a year to put fluoride in the water supply.
Cllr Robert Ireton then told the meeting that he got an email totally counter-balancing what was said at the Council meeting.
‘I don’t know what to believe,’ he stated, adding that he would go with whatever the Council engineers recommend.
‘All I want is clarification of the truth,’ he said.
Senior Engineer Neville Shaw said there are pros and cons to putting fluoride in water, explaining that the practice stems back to the days when eating habits were different.
He added that people are well aware of the need to brush teeth, possibly eliminating the need for fluoride in water.
‘The HSE pays for fluoride and we’re waiting for direction,’ he said. ‘Personally, I’d be happy not putting it in. People with their own wells don’t put fluoride in.’
‘Every other country in Europe has stopped it,’ added Cllr Ó Súilleabháin.
‘We’re regulated to do it, and until that changes, we will continue to add it,’ Neville Shaw told him.