CAMPAIGNERS are calling for health chiefs to quit over plans to add fluoride to Southampton’s tap water.
Protesters who claim fluoridated water harms people’s health are stepping up their fight against the move.
Southampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT) supports water fluoridation and is awaiting the results of investigations into its practicalities.
As reported in the Daily Echo, right, the chemical could be added to the city’s water supplies within months.
South West Hampshire Green Party and pressure group Hampshire Against Fluoridation are furious.
John Spottiswoode, spokes-man for both organisations, said: “We are shocked not only at the proposal but at the ignorance of the proponents in denying the mountain of research that shows major health problems connected with it.”
Opponents to fluoridation state there is evidence fluoride can lead to serious health problems including bone cancer and mental illness. Excess fluoride is also linked to teeth discolouring, known as fluorosis.
Mr Spottiswoode said the PCT is being “economical with statistics” and added: “There seems to be a trend to call for officials to resign for a lot of things, but when it affects so many peoples’ health with such disregard for the whole truth this is a highly serious matter.”
He singled out a report by the American National Academy of Sciences that found “persuasive evidence that fluoride in water increases bone fractures as well as stiffness in joints, may be linked to Alzheimer’s, reduces the IQ of children and alters hormone levels”.
A PCT spokesman said: “Dental health in Southampton is poor. In spite of more than 12 years of health promotion, the levels of dental disease in children have not reduced.
“Fluoride occurs naturally in water but adjusting the level has the potential to benefit everyone.
“The experience of other cities such as Birmingham and Coventry has shown that the level of dental decay drops dramatically.”
The South Central SHA is carrying out a feasibility study and is due to report back by the summer. If it gives fluoridation the thumbs-up, there will be a public consultation.