Committee on Health and Children: Plans are now in place to reduce fluoride levels in Irish public water supplies five years after an expert group recommended this step be taken.
The joint Oireachtas Committee on Health and Children heard yesterday that a statutory instrument, required to amend current fluoridation regulations, had been laid before the Dáil this week. Members have 21 days to consider it and if there are no objections fluoridation levels will be reduced in public water supplies here from July 1st.
The plan is to reduce levels from the current limit of 1mgs per litre to between 0.6 and 0.8mgs per litre. It is added to public water supplies to prevent dental decay but the recommendation to reduce levels arose from a slight increase in cases of questionable and mild dental fluorosis in the population.
Members of the expert body told the committee they were disappointed it had taken so long to implement the recommendation. Stephen McDermott, a member of the group, said he would have preferred to see it happen quicker but a lot of preparatory work was involved.
John Gormley, the Green Party’s health spokesman, asked if they were aware of recent advice from the American Dental Association to the effect that people should not use fluoridated tap water to make up infant formula. Prof Denis O’Mullane said he did not believe it would be correct to give the same advice to parents here because levels of flouride in the US can be much higher.