A Government-commissioned report has backed the continued fluoridation of Irish water supplies but advises that the levels be reduced, irishhealth.com can reveal. The long-awaited report of the Forum on Fluoridation is to be published on September 10 in Dublin and is likely to spark renewed controversy.
The report says that the State should continue the practise of adding fluoride to the public water supply in the interests of dental health. However, it is understood that the report does suggest reducing the dose and it proposes further research into fluoridation. The dose reduction is proposed because of the wider ingestion of fluoride today from other sources – mainly by children and adults through regular use of toothpaste.
A major High Court action is being taken by medical campaigner, Dr Andrew Rynne against the State on the issue of fluoridation claiming that it is against the interests of public health due to toxicity. Around three quarters of the population receive fluoridated water, although some county councils have petitioned the government to be allowed not to add fluoride to the water in their areas.
The Fluoridation Forum was set up by the Health Minister in May 2000 to examine the contentious issue of fluoridation. Opponents of fluoridation are concerned about ‘mass medication’ fluorosis (damage to the enamel of the teeth), dental caries (crumbling of the teeth) and other health risks they claim are linked to fluoridation.
However, supporters of fluoridation insist that the dental health of residents of fluoridated communities is considerably better than that of residents living in non-fluoridated communities and that it is safe.
The 19-member Forum was chaired by the former president of University College Galway, Prof Pat Fottrell.