Fluoride Action Network

United Arab Emirates: dentists call for adding fluoride to tap water

Source: Khaleej Times Online | October 28th, 2007 | By Asma Ali Zain
Location: International

DUBAI — The local Scientific Committee of FDI (International Dental Federation) has urged the authorities to compulsorily include fluoride in tap water in the UAE.

During the closing ceremony of the FDI Annual Dental Congress 2007, Dr Tareq Khoury, Chairman, Scientific Committee, FDI Dubai 2007, said the water authorities in the UAE should look into this issue seriously and adopt a policy.

“This point has been presented as a recommendation to the FDI Scientific Committee and we want it done as per the World Health Organisation and American Dental Association recommendations,” he told Khaleej Times.

He also explained that inclusion of fluoride in tap water could reduce dental problems among the population in the UAE by 50-70 per cent.

“This will also be a cost-effective solution for the government because there will be less spending on dental and oral health,” he said.

“Worldwide, fluoride has been included in flour, salt, milk etc.., but a human’s need for it has best been met through water as everybody uses it,” he said. Dr Khoury explained that 1ppm (part per million) of fluoride was the optimal amount required by a human being. “In the UAE, the amount is ‘0’ in the tap water though some bottled water companies have included it in their products,” he said.

He also said that people from the hotter regions such as the GCC required a smaller amount of fluoride (.75ppm) since the water intake was greater compared to the people from colder regions (1.2ppm).

During the closing ceremony, Dr Khoury handed over the official FDI flag to the organisers of the next year’s congress — FDI Stockholm.

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said the dental congress had generated Dh1 billion for UAE’s economy.

The Director-General of DHA, Qadhi Al Murooshid, said, “This was evident from the fact that 46 hotels were completely booked and its cascading benefits in terms of spending on aviation travel, local transport, communications etc.”