Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation of drinking water: the debate continues in Ontario

Source: CBC Radio-Canada (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) | May 2nd, 2016 | By Caroline Bourdua
Location: Canada, Quebec

(Note: this is an English translation of Fluoration de l’eau potable: le débat se poursuit en Ontario)

Ontario is the province with the largest number of drinking water plants where fluoride is added. Three in four Ontarians have access to fluoridated water.

But that does not stop the debate remains in the province. Windsor, in particular, ceased water fluoridation last few years, North Bay has raised the possibility this autumn and a group of Peel goes to court to try to stop adding fluoride into the system water from the municipality.


Neither the federal government nor the provinces have legislation that requires the addition of fluoride in tap water. Health Canada works with the provinces and territories to ensure maintaining the quality of drinking water and improve.

Canadian Fluoridation By Province - Source médecinde Dental School, U. of Toronto 2007

The provinces and territories regulate the quality of drinking water. In Ontario, the Fluoridation Act gives municipalities the choice whether to add fluoride to their public network of drinking water.

The law is subject to various conditions and scenarios to allow those opposed to state their opinion.

For or against the fluoridation of drinking water?

The fluoride is normally present in the environment, but at rates that differ. It also comes from the smoke exhaled by the production of phosphate fertilizers, aluminum and chemicals.

But as natural fluoride is present in trace amounts presques, public health services are of the opinion that fluoridation of tap water has a positive impact in preventing tooth decay.

From a strictly scientific viewpoint, fluoride is beneficial or not. “When it exceeds a certain concentration, it is a contaminant,” explains François Caron, environment professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury.

But respecting the standards of 0.7 mg / liter, established by Health Canada, and taking into account that all tap water is not directly consumed by humans, the amount of absorbed fluoride industrial might be considered minimal.

“I made a very rough calculation, and it is equivalent to a tanker which spilled into the system over a year. “ – François Caron, Laurentian University

It is on this question that opinions diverge. What shocks groups as Canadians opposed to fluoridation (COF) is such that the public health authorities downplay studies that they believe prove that industrial fluoridation may have important medical consequences.

“The product is used in toothpastes or mouthwashes are pharmaceutical grade, while the products we put in the water are industrial quality. “ – Gilles Parent, Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation ~ Canadians Opposed to Fluoridation (COF-COF)

Gilles Parent militating for COF, says it is illegal for a city to add products unfit for human consumption in drinking water: “The problem is that we confuse pharmaceutical grade fluoride, with water fluoridation products, “he explains.

Peel Region will have to address the issue

The Concerned Residents of Peel to End Water Fluoridation group goes further due to water fluoridation, he filed a lawsuit in Superior Court of Ontario for violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Act 2002 on the safety of the water.

But the group faces several opponents.

“We can not allow frivolous lawsuits and scientific studies cans that would undermine the benefits of water fluoridation. “ – Bob Delaney, MPP for Mississauga-Streetsville

Ontario could even become the first province to legislate fluoridation in municipal water systems.

The Liberal member for Mississauga-Streetsville Bob Delaney circulated a petition and submitted to the Ontario legislature a private bill requesting that the fluoridation of drinking water is mandatory in all municipal water systems ” the level of dental caries in a city like Windsor increased significantly after the removal of fluoride from drinking water, “he said.

Why not have legislated earlier? Delaney MP compares the debate to that of smoking on the terraces. Cities, he says, have adopted various regulations and the Ministry of Health and that of Municipal Affairs and Housing have come to take the bull by the horns and have adopted common guidelines for all Ontario territory. It hopes the Government will legislate Wynne on water fluoridation aqueducts before the end of this parliamentary session.

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