Fluoride Action Network

NZ water fluoridation safe and effective – new science review.

Source: NZ Herald | By Jamie Morton, Science Reporter
Posted on June 2nd, 2021
Location: New Zealand
Note from Fluoride Action Network:
This article reviews a new report on fluoridation by the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor. Do not count on the information in this report until you read the critiques of it as this report contains serious misinformation. Because of its length, a critique by FAN will take time. (EC)

A fresh science review has reaffirmed there’s no significant health risks with levels of fluoride applied to New Zealand water supplies.

Currently, around 2.3 million Kiwis have access to fluoridated drinking water and decision-making has sat with individual councils and mayors – something that’s led to some controversial calls.

The Government and health professionals have long advocated community water fluoridation as an effective, safe and affordable way to combat tooth decay, which thousands of children were admitted to hospital for in 2019.

The new review, published by the office of chief science advisor Professor Dame Juliet Gerrard this week, largely backed the conclusions of a 2014 report by Royal Society Te Aparangi, reaffirming that current levels of fluoridation were effectively safe.

“Through our research we have found the conclusions of the Royal Society Te Ap?rangi remain appropriate and there are no adverse effects of fluoride of any significance arising from fluoridation at the levels used here,” Dame Juliet said.

“Adding fluoride to water continues to have a positive impact by reducing the incidence of dental caries in Aotearoa New Zealand and is particularly important in reducing socioeconomic health inequities.”

Water fluoridation is the process of adjusting the natural level of fluoride in the water supply to between 0.7 and 1.0 parts per million – the optimal amount that provides protection against tooth decay, and recommended by the World Health Organisation.

As the current levels of fluoride found in untreated water supplies in New Zealand wasn’t effective enough to be of benefit in helping to prevent tooth decay, many councils topped up fluoride levels in their supplies.

The review found that how much fluoride a person was exposed to depended on their diet, how much water they drank, the level of fluoride in their water supply, and their oral hygiene routines.

Some groups could be exposed to higher levels of fluoride than what was necessary to gain oral health benefits – particularly formula-fed infants living in areas with fluoridated water supplies.

Source / Office of the Prime Minister's chief science advisor
Source / Office of the Prime Minister’s chief science advisor