Fluoride Action Network

Council postpones fluoridation report presentation

Source: Calgary Herald | July 23rd, 2019 | By Olivia Condon
Location: Canada, Alberta

Note from the Fluoride Action Network

Not mentioned in this article is Safe Water Calgary’s Statement in Opposition to Artificial Water Fluoridation. A Refutation of the CADTH Report on Community Water Fluoridation of 2019. This report was submitted to the Calgary City Council and the O’Brien Institute of Public Health on July 17 for their consideration in their discussions on fluoridating Calgary’s drinking water.

The presentation and review of a 40-page report on community water fluoridation has been postponed until the fall.

The study, completed by the U of C’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health, was completed last week and was set to be presented at the community and protective services committee meeting on Wednesday.

During their regular council meeting Monday, Coun. Diane Colley-Urquhart’s motion to postpone the report’s presentation until the fall was supported by all but one of her colleagues on council.

“Council has to be extremely focused on the issues and that doesn’t include fluoride at this time,” she said, referencing the Green Line LRT expansion$60 million in budget cuts and the new events centre. “This report is not coming with any recommendations . . . If we need one, two, three days in the fall where we have a public meeting on fluoride that’s fine, but I want us to take all the time we can with these other things right now.”

The report, which was tasked with looking at existing community water fluoridation research from around the world, outlined the potential benefits and harms of the program.

Potential benefits listed in the report include:

  • 44 per cent reduction in cavities and dental decay in baby teeth.
  • 37 per cent reduction in cavities in children’s permanent teeth.
  • 35 per cent reduction in cavities and decay in adults.
  • 50 per cent lower hospital admissions for surgical treatment of tooth decay.

Potential harms included:

  • Consistent evidence that fluoride causes fluorosis.
  • Possible minor effects on thyroid function.
  • More evidence needed for effect of fluoride on cognition but evidence is evolving rapidly. Harvard study conducted in China and Iran reported an association between high fluoride exposure, up to 11.5 mg/l, and lower IQ scores.
  • New emerging studies that fluoride exposure during pregnancy may be harmful to the brain development of babies.

The report went on to rank effectiveness of preventive programs for tooth decay, listing community water fluoridation as most effective:

  1. Community water fluoridation
  2. Sealant program
  3. Tooth brushing
  4. Fluoride varnish
  5. Fluoride gel
  6. Fluoride mouth rinses
  7. Salt fluoridation

*Original article online at https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/council-postpones-fluoridation-report-presentation