Fluoride Action Network

Cumbria: Fluoride Decision Expected

Source: The Cumberland News | September 26th, 2008
Location: United Kingdom, England

HEALTH bosses are to decide whether to add fluoride to more of the county’s water supply.

Around 130,000 people receive fluoridated water in west Cumbria, and NHS Northwest has asked the area’s primary trust, NHS Cumbria, if they wish to expand the scheme.

Changes to the Water Act five years ago allowed primary care trusts to choose whether to add fluoride to water to help reduce the incidence of tooth decay.

Cumbria’s director of public health, Dr John Aston, said: “The vast majority of doctors and dentists in the UK endorse the fluoridation of drinking water as a safe way to improve dental health.

“Fluoride is already found naturally in water, and fluoridation schemes adjust the amount to the optimum level for protecting teeth.”

Eric Rooney, a consultant in dental public health at NHS Cumbria, added: “Children in the north west have some of the worst dental health in England, and Cumbria is no exception.

“Water fluoridation is one possible intervention to improve dental health.”

The board will decide on proposals this week, but the trust is expected to recommend that such a scheme would benefit public health.

The final decision would only be taken after public consultation.