COUNCILLORS have vowed not to allow fluoride to be put into water as a major consultation starts over the issue.
Pendle councillors voted that water fluoridation was not needed in the borough at their full council meeting and resolved to inform health chiefs.
Councillors had been sent a copy of a report by the North West Fluoridation Group – formed from primary care trust officials – which suggests adding fluoride to the water will help improve Lancashire’s poor record on children’s dental health.
East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen PCTs will discuss the report later this month, ahead of NHS North West, the strategic health authority, taking the final decision.
Changes to the Water Act enacted in 2003 have given North West Primary Care Trusts the chance to consider water fluoridation as a method of reducing tooth decay.
It is claimed that fluoride reduces loss of minerals from tooth surfaces and makes teeth more resistant.
But pure water campaigners say the report being shown to members tells only half the story and that the additive, which has been used in some areas since the 1960s, does not improve teeth and can damage health.
Fight Against Fluoride, an anti-fluoridation campaign group based in Blackburn, said people should have the right to make the decision on the matter rather than have it forced on them.
Linda Forrest, chairperson of the group, speaking at the meeting, said: “In a democratic society we should all have the right to choose for ourselves on intimate matters such as politics, religion, medical treatment and what we should eat and drink.
“It is indiscriminate and does not take account of an individual’s state of health, or the individual’s consent.
“Fluoridation is clearly an infringement of our human rights.”
It was revealed three years ago that children in East Lancashire had some of the highest levels of tooth decay in the country.