By Paddy Walsh

Alarming levels of fluoride in drinking water have emerged following a survey in Donegal which revealed that 72% of the subjects tested were at or above the safe intake.

Volunteers from three different flouridated areas of the county, Letterkenny, the Twin Towns and Inishowen, participated in the survey and according to Robert Pocock, a representative of VOICE, an environmental awareness group, seven out of ten people in these areas are getting too much fluoride.

“We compared them with the safe intake level on the guidelines issued by the UK Food Standard Agency and the results are worrying to say the least,” he declared.

The survey was recently carried out by Clane GP, Dr Andrew Rynne who engaged and EU accredited pathology laboratory to obtain the results. Urine samples from Inishowen, Letterkenny and Stanorlar were obtained from people aged between nineteen and sixty-eight years and evenly split between men and women.

“Of the thirty-two subjects who volunteered, only nine tested within a safe intake confirming the suspicion that the fluoridation of Irish drinking water is the major contributor to fluoride over-exposure. Several subjects are many times over the stated safe intake,” Dr Rynne maintained.


Mr. Pocock said the results highlighted the “negligence of the Health Minister Mary Harney who after over two years in office has still failed to investigate fluoride exposure in the population.

“In the light of this evidence from three different parts of Co Donegal, her recently introduced Regulation (S.I.42,2007) reducing the fluoride concentration by a small amount on July 1st, 2007, is a totally inadequate response to the problem of fluoride over-exposure.”

“The national implications of this evidence is alarming since 73% of the population (3 million) are served with fluoridated drinking water, indicating that over 2 million people could be getting above the safe daily intake of fluoride,” Mr. Pocock declared.

Reacting to the results of the survey, Mr. Vyvyan Howard, President of the International Association of Doctors for the Environment, said he was “not surprised” by them and insisted that the Republic of Ireland was the “most highly fluoridated” country in the world. If the figure for adults was worrying, then it would be much more so for infants, he maintained.