TDS and senators who consume water from the Oireachtas canteen are being exposed to a “dangerous level” of fluoride, according to a new study.
An expert has found that the tap water, used by politicians and officials in Leinster House, exceeds the maximum level of fluoride allowed under law.
Environmental scientist Declan Waugh took a sample of the water provided in the Oireachtas canteen during a recent visit. After carrying out tests on the sample, he concluded that it contained 0.9mg of fluoride per litre – which is above the permitted statutory limit of 0.8mg per litre.
Politicians who have been using the water to make cups of tea are now exposed to greater health risks, Mr Waugh said last night.
The test results were sent to the Oireachtas authorities yesterday.
The practice of adding fluoride to the country’s water supply has divided politicians and health experts for a number of years.
The issue was the subject of a Dail debate earlier this month, during which a cohort of TDs called for a ban on the practice.
A private members bill, put forward by Sinn Fein TD Brian Stanley, was opposed by the government and Fianna Fail.
Junior Health Minister Alex White said there was no risk to the public from fluoridating tap water – which is done in order to prevent tooth decay.
Other opponents to the bill said the practice has been endorsed by bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
However, Mr Waugh said last night that the consumption of tea alone could result in “detrimental health effects” due to the level of fluoride present in drinking water.