Fluoride Action Network

Dental Association ‘greatly alarmed’ after fluoridation turned off in Wellington

Source: The New Zealand Herald | March 15th, 2022 | By Georgina Campbell
Location: New Zealand
The review found low and inconsistent levels of fluoridation in the region's water. Photo / 123rf

The review found low and inconsistent levels of fluoridation in the region’s water. Photo / 123rf

The New Zealand Dental Association is “greatly alarmed” by fluoridation being stopped in Wellington and says the Government must intervene if a solution isn’t promptly sorted out.

Wellington has been supplied with low and inconsistent levels of fluoridation in its water supply for four years, a review has found.

As of last month, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Wellington City haven’t been receiving fluoridated water at all. The amount of work needed to fix the problem means this could carry on for the rest of the year.

New Zealand Dental Association spokesman Dr Rob Beaglehole said he was “greatly alarmed” by the decision to switch off community water fluoridation in parts of Wellington.

“This will impact on the communities of Upper Hutt, Porirua and Wellington, which are communities that are already impacted by oral health inequalities.”

Beaglehole said an immediate solution must be found.

“We call on the Government to act, if a regional solution isn’t promptly implemented.”

Wellington Water operates water treatment plants on behalf of Greater Wellington Regional Council and delivers the bulk drinking water supply to Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua and Wellington cities.

Regional council chief executive Nigel Corry said the fluoridation machinery was more than 30 years old and no longer met acceptable performance standards, “the outcome of which is a low and inconsistent level of fluoridation in our water but it’s also an opportunity to invest in an upgraded system.”

The fluoride dosing facilities at the water treatment plants have been operating inconsistently for about four years, so operators have been conservative with fluoride dosage.

*Original article online at https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/dental-association-greatly-alarmed-after-fluoridation-turned-off-in-wellington/

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