The Ministry of Health has vouched for the safety of the water fluoridation programme in Sabah.
In a response to concerns voiced by the Consumer Association of Penang, its Director-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the dental fraternity in Malaysia was vigilant on issues of safety and health on fluoride use worldwide.
“The Malaysian Dental Council has published a Position Document on Use of Fluorides in Malaysia in 2009 in which the profession, having the health and safety of the public as its prime concern, reiterates and reaffirms its stand that the fluoridation of public water supplies is a safe, effective, economical, practical and socially-equitable measure for prevention and control of dental caries.
“The policy document made extensive literature review on fluoride use from many major health and professional organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States of America and the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia,” he said in a statement.
Towards this end, he said the poor oral health status of Sabahans has been a long-standing concern of the Ministry of Health especially that of high caries levels in children.
On the strength of the current literature, Ismail said, the Ministry of Health continues to strongly support fluoridation of public water supplies at the optimum level of 0.5ppm for the country.
“Water fluoridation demands no compliance on the part of the population who will benefit from it and as such is the first-line preferred strategy for the prevention and control of dental caries in Sabah.
“This is especially so, in light of constraints in oral healthcare delivery in the State.
The Ministry continues its vigilance and monitoring to ensure safety and effectiveness of fluoride use in the country,” he said.