One council is looking into the matter :: Middlesbrough and Hartlepool are mentioned in the discussions
Battle lines have been drawn over the possible introduction of fluoride to the public water supply, with campaigners claiming to do so would violate human rights and “poison” residents.
As Darlington Borough Council’s children and young people’s scrutiny committee voted to recommend the authority launches a technical appraisal to consider a water fluoridation scheme either in Darlington or across the Tees Valley, members were told scientists remained divided on its safety.
Joy Warren, of the UK Freedom from Fluoride Alliance, called on the council to pause its exploration of water fluoridation to thoroughly examine the evidence.
She said there were more than 50 reports worldwide showing unborn children’s intelligence was reduced by the presence of fluoride in the womb.
Darlington resident Alan Hall added fluoride’s toxicity rating was between lead and arsenic and therefore was a “poison”.
He said: “Mass medication is a violation of human rights.
“Why fluoridate an entire population compulsorily when it is possible to reduce dental decay by properly targeted interventions, which work at the individual level, as indeed obesity programmes work?”
he committee was also shown photographs of children with dental fluorosis, and told fluoride did wider damage to the body.
Members said they had seen widespread dental decay in the town and some type of action was needed.
David Lands, a Public Health England consultant, said water containing fluoride had been drunk for 173 years in Hartlepool and for almost 50 years in other parts of the North-East and fluorosis had not been raised as an issue by medics.
He said: “There is very clear evidence of fluoride reducing dental disease and if look at the latest statistics the lowest levels of dental disease in the North-East are in fluoridated areas. Middlesbrough has almost twice the level of dental disease than Hartlepool.”
He added the lowest levels of children with a learning disability or autism spectrum disorder in the North-East were in those districts with fluoride in the water.
The committee’s chairman, Councillor Chris Taylor said from the evidence presented it was clear fluoridation was worth exploring further.
*Original article online at https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/health/should-fluoride-released-public-water-14866638