CAMPAIGNERS are renewing their fight to prevent fluoride being added to Sheffield’s tap water supply – after a city dental chief said it could halve the amount of tooth decay among children.
John Green, director of dental public health at Sheffield Primary Care Trust, made the claims after writing a shocking report that revealed city children’s teeth are no better today than 10 years ago, and poverty increases the chances of children needing fillings and extractions.
But campaigners say the chemical does more harm than good and actually weakens teeth and bones.
So far Sheffield Council has objected to all requests to date to add [fluoride] to water supplies, although neighbouring Rotherham Council is considering whether or not to support the addition.
Frank Plunkett, a member of the Sheffield Against Fluoridation group believes that as tooth decay affects poorer people more than the affluent, more should done to help those who are less likely to enjoy better dental health without resorting to chemicals.
Mr Plunkett, of Birley, said: “Poor children are the victims in all of this, their low calcium diets render them more susceptible to the harmful effects off fluoride.
“Fluoridation is a form of punishment to poor children with dental health problems, whose same diet will lead to life-threatening illnesses later in life.”
He believes action should be focused on tackling the root causes of poor dental health, such as poor diet.
Those against fluoride also see it as a human rights issue saying it would deny people choice.
In 2000 the Government commissioned a review of fluoridation by York University. Res-earchers looked at the evidence and found water fluoridation was likely to have a beneficial effect but they could not say whether it was a slight or a substantial benefit.