Mandatory drinking-water fluoridation costs the Irish taxpayer in excess of €3 million per annum, with the chemical materials accounting for €1,311,817 last year alone.
The Medical Independent (MI) has established that the firm Chemifloc, which is based in Co Clare, supplied 3,748,051 litres of fluoride in 2013. The HSE confirmed to MI that the cost involved is equivalent to 35c per litre of the chemical.
However the cost of the chemicals must be added to other associated expenses, the Executive explained to this newspaper.
“These costs depend on a range of factors including the size, volume and population served by the plant,” the spokesperson told MI. He explained that the main types of accompanying equipment included bulk and other storage tanks, bunds, weighing scales, dosing pumps, ‘deadman’s handles’ and shower units but added that “this list is not exhaustive”.
Additional costs include specialist training for personnel. “Local authority employees involved in duties relating to water fluoridation receive training by their local authority prior to commencing such duties, the cost of which varies from one local authority to another,” said the spokesperson.
“Other costs include the repair or replacement of the necessary accompanying equipment used to store the chemicals and the operational and maintenance costs relating to water fluoridation.”
Dr Joe Mullen, Chief Dental Inspector, HSE West, had previously told a meeting of Mayo County Council that the overall cost of fluoridation is approximately €3.5 million each year.
This article has been amended. It originally stated that flouridating [sic] the water supply cost 35c per litre of water and that Ireland’s water supply amounted to 3,748,051 litres per annum. These statements were incorrect and we apologise for the error and any confusion caused.