The Irish Examiner reported (Tuesday, Oct 15, 2013) that the chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) said that the fluoridation of water was not a risk to the public. This opinion is not accepted in most developed countries.

The safety of fluoride is based on dietary exposure from all sources, including water, beverages, medications, and occupational exposures. It is also based on the age, and nutritional and health status, of the individual consumers.

Twenty years ago, the World Health Organisation advised that the fluoride content in foodstuffs should be labelled, particularly in countries where water fluoridation is practised, due to their populations’ higher exposure.

This recommendation was so that consumers would be aware of, and limit, their exposure to this toxin.

No action has been taken in Ireland to comply with this recommendation.

In 2011, the FSAI published their first report measuring the fluoride content of basic foodstuffs in Ireland. Incredibly, their report underestimated, by 1,000%, the fluoride content of basic foodstuffs. This alarming finding is supported by recent scientific evidence, on human dietary exposure to fluoride, published in the peer-reviewed journal, Food Research International.

What the study confirms, among many other such studies, is that a large percentage of the adult population is exposed to excessive levels of fluoride, which can be detrimental to health. In Ireland, the numbers would be much greater, due to fluoridation of drinking water.

It is unbelievable that while the FSAI and HSE were informed last April of this serious error, no action has been taken, in the interim, by either body, to protect the public.

By failing to take any action, both agencies are in conflict with their stated purposes.

There are so many sources of fluoride that you cannot control the exposure of the population when you medicate their water supply. That is why fluoridation should stop immediately, as a matter of public safety.

Declan Waugh
Chartered Environmental Scientist
Co Cork