The European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products has warned parents to supervise their children to prevent them swallowing fluoride from toothpaste or other oral hygiene products because of the increased risk of dental fluorisis.
European advice has indicated that the period of fluoride risk extends from babies to six-year-olds.
According to Mr Robert Pocock, spokesperson for VOICE (Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment) “if swallowing fluoride is a health risk up to six years old, then clearly fluoride should not be added to drinking water and Health Minister Mary Harney must end water fluoridation immediately”.
He added that a major toothpaste firm, following pressure from the Irish Dental Association has recently agreed to withdraw distribution of all fluoride toothpastes for under two-year-olds because “it is in direct conflict” with public policy regarding the use of fluoride toothpaste for this age group.
“With fluoride toothpastes not recommended for infants under two years of age, it is obvious that infants should not be exposed to fluoride in any form whether or not it is swallowed by accident from toothpaste or via fluoridated tap water,” said Mr Pocock.