HEALTH bosses agreed to investigate the possibility of adding fluoride to the water supply in the north west at a meeting last week.
The board at NHS Warrington accepted a paper that asked them to request further investigation into the feasibility of the scheme.
For now, all that means is that the Strategic Health Authority, (SHA), will look into the possibility of adding the chemical.
“This is not a decision on whether we support it; it is a very contentious issue and we appreciate that,” said chairman, John Gartside.
The board was told at its monthly meeting that the decision lay with the SHA and not any one primary care trust.
“It is only if and when the SHA decides to do it that this PCT will say whether it supports it,” said Dr Keith Milsom, a public health dentist.
“The dental health of the Warrington population is worse than the national average. Eleven of the 22 electoral wards have child dental health that is worse than average,” he said.
Children living in Bewsey and Whitecross have six times as many cavities than children in Appleton, he told the board, and adding fluoride to the water has been shown to reduce dental cavities.
But some groups say it is forced mass medication that can cause serious dental damage.
Consuming fluoride can cause fluorosis, a mottling of the teeth, and in areas that are already fluoridated upwards of 40 per cent of the population suffer from the condition.
It can only be treated with veneers, which cannot be fitted until a person is 21 and therefore no longer eligible for free treatments on the NHS.
A number of residents have posted comments on our website voicing their concerns about fluoridation.