The Daily Echo can today reveal the areas inside and outside Southampton that would receive mass-medicated water if city health chiefs get their way. (See today’s Daily Echo to see the areas affected).
About two-thirds of people within the city boundaries are set to be given topped-up levels of fluoride in a bid to improve chronic dental health in deprived areas.
But, as the map opposite shows, as well as the 160,000 Southampton residents affected, more than 36,000 people living outside of the city will also get increased fluoride, even though there are no major concerns about dental problems there.
Residents in parts of Eastleigh, Boyatt Wood, Totton, Rushington, Netley and Butlocks Heath would all be affected.
Those residents, and many living within Southampton, do not suffer worrying levels of dental health problems, but they would be given extra doses of fluoride anyway.
Meanwhile, large areas within the city that do have major problems would continue to receive non-fluoridated water.
Townhill Park, Harefield, Thornhill and the Flowers Estate in Bassett have all been identified as target neighbourhoods, where there are high levels of tooth decay in children.
However, they are not included in the scheme because their tap water comes from other distribution centres to those authorities say are best to use for fluoridation – at Otterbourne and Rownhams.
South Central Strategic Health Authority is running the three-month public consultation due to start in August, at the request of Southampton City Primary Care Trust.
The SHA insists all residents affected by the proposals will be given the chance to have their say on the scheme, regardless of whether they are city or county residents.
Hampshire PCT, which covers the areas outside Southampton that would be included, says it is supporting the project.
Jean Bradlow, Hampshire PCT’s director of public health said some of those places beyond the city boundaries to be fluoridated could benefit from the scheme.
“Hampshire PCT recognises that child dental health is poor in Southampton and that water fluoridation is a safe and effective means of reducing dental decay,” she said.
“This proposal will effect some residents in parts of Eastleigh, Totton and Netley where we have pockets of poor dental health which would benefit from fluoridation.
“We urge residents of these areas to share their views during the consultation.”
WHO GETS THE FLUORIDE?
The map above shows the zone that would be covered by the fluoridation scheme if it gets the go-ahead. The zone includes areas outside the city boundary that would receive fluoride in the water like Eastleigh, Totton and Netley while some Southampton communities including parts of Sholing, Bitterne and Townhill Park would not.