DENTISTS are appealing to people in Hull to ignore “scaremongering” from campaigners fighting water fluoridation plans.
Hull City Council is considering introducing water fluoridation to improve children’s teeth and tackle rates of tooth decay, which are among the worst in the country.
However, a campaign against the plans has been mounted and a public meeting was held earlier this week, with protesters claiming it was “mass medication without consent”.
Chris Groombridge, secretary of the Hull and East Riding Local Dental Committee (LDC), said: “To listen to the anti-brigade, you would think that virtually every illness in the world could be attributed to drinking one part of fluoride per million parts of water, which is the tiny concentration you find in fluoridated water.
“Well-conducted studies have found no credible evidence of harm to people’s health. It should also be remembered that many places have the same level of fluoride in their water thanks to Mother Nature, including Hartlepool.
“We appeal to people not to let the scaremongers stop the city council from consulting them on whether or not we should follow in the footsteps of all these cities by adding a tiny amount of fluoride to water that already contains fluoride.”
The LDC said three independent reviews on water fluoridation over the past 15 years had shown it can reduce tooth decay in children by up to 50 per cent.
Just over 500 people have signed a petition fighting the plans.
Campaigner Paddy Holdsworth said the £100,000 a year being earmarked in the ring-fenced public health budget for fluoridation could be spent on more “imaginative” ways of tackling tooth decay.
He also pointed out Southampton had recently rejected plans for water fluoridation because of opposition.
Mr Holdsworth said: “They are always trying to minimise the health impact of fluoridation and increase the supposed benefits.
“But when you look at how this substance is supposed to get to the target groups, you realise it is a ridiculous, ineffectual means of spending council taxpayers’ money.”