Fluoride Action Network

Waterford City and County Council call for a ban on the addition of fluoride to water supplies

By Owen Boyden, Director, The National Fluoride Free Towns Project
Posted on May 14th, 2015
Location: Ireland

Waterford City and County Council at their monthly plenary meeting this evening 14th May 2015 passed a motion calling on the Irish Government to reverse the State’s isolated policy within Europe of mandating a mandatory national water fluoridation policy for the purposes of reducing incidence levels of dental caries experienced by the population.  Waterford historically become the 13th Council since the beginning of 2014 representing over 2.5 million Irish citizens to formally adopt such a position since the beginning of 2014.

The motion, “That Waterford City and County Council calls on the Government to amend the Health (fluoridation of water supplies) Act 1960 and subsequent Statutory Instrument (42/2007 Fluoridation of Water Supplies Regulations 2007) and to ban the addition of fluoride to water supplies in Waterford City and County” received widespread support from Councillors of all political affiliation.

Cllr Breda Brennan (SF) who tabled the motion which was seconded by Cllr Pat Fitgerald (SF), received near unanimous support from all Councillors except Cllr Eddie Mulligan (Ind) and upon being contacted for comment she stated, “I was very happy at the support my motion received at the Council Chamber this evening and wish to thank my Council colleagues for the huge support the motion received.  Our Council becomes the 13th Council including Wexford since 2014 to call on the Government to cease fluoridating the country’s public water supplies.  25 out of 26 Councils in the North voted against the same policy some 15 years ago bearing in mind all other European countries have abandoned mandatory national water fluoridation over safety concerns.  I hope the Minister for Health and his Department will soon heed to the widespread concerns of so many Councils around the country and call time on this outdated and controversial public health policy.”

Fluoridation was first implemented in Ireland after a Constitutional Challenge to the legislation (Ryan v AG) in 1964 was subsequently struck out of the High Court and Supreme Court appeal.  However, Justice John Kenny who presided over the challenge ruled malformation of teeth (fluorosis) or any other adverse effect would not be inflicted upon the Irish people as a result of fluoridation1 ,however, the IDA (Irish Dental Association) in 2012 estimated some 40% of the population were suffering from malformation of teeth (fluorosis) as a result of the policy but have failed to advise the Irish Government of this unconstitutional harm (fluorosis) that some 40% of the population continue to suffer from bearing in mind not one scientific or medical authority worldwide have been able to ascertain or determine a margin of error or safety threshold between alleged caries prevention and fluorosis infliction as a result of fluoridation. Ironically, the Irish people’s right to bodily integrity was enshrined in enumerated fundamental rights or Article 40.3.1 of Bhunreacht na hEireann as a result of the same legal challenge.

Waterford’s anti fluoride vote comes just three weeks after the USDHHS 2 (United States Department of Health and Human Services) in an unprecedented move in the country where the policy originated from some 70 years ago have publicly recommended reducing the levels of fluoride added to public water supplies by some 50% over concerns of some 41% of US citizens now estimated to suffer from fluorosis.  The move means the current levels of between .7mg/l – 1.2mg/l have been reduced to no more then .7mg/l.  The Irish Department of Health currently sanction between .6 -.8mg/l of fluoride are added to public water supplies.

The NRC (National Research Council, a prestigious branch of the United States National Academies of Science) Report of 2006 as result of a three year review raised the issue of fluoride induced thyroid disruption and stated, ““In humans, effects on thyroid function were associated with fluoride exposures of 0.05-0.13 mg/kg/day (4.0 -10.4 mg for a person weighing 80kg) when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day (0.8 – 2.4 mg or approximately 1 – 3.5 litres of water per day for a person weighing 80kg) when iodine intake was inadequate”.   Iodine deficiency is estimated to affect some 33% of the population.  The NRC report also classified fluoride as an endocrine disruptor.

In a study that was carried out by researchers from the University of Derby (2013) and the former Health Protection Agency (now part of Public Health England) using 38 everyday tea brands, it was found that persons could be ingesting up to 2mg of fluoride for each serving. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Food Research International.

The EU in 2006 also banned hexafluorosilicic acid [fluoridation chemical used in the US] for use as a biocidal product due to a lack of toxicological data to demonstrate the substance as safe for humans or the environment.

Owen Boyden, director of The National Fluoride Free Towns Project upon being reached for comment said, “Waterford’s vote of no confidence in the outdated and dangerous policy of medicating without consent the entire Irish population is a very welcome development on this major human rights issue where Councils representing over half the Irish population have since last year called on the Government to scrap enforced compulsory water fluoridation.”

Mr. Boyden also stated “Given recent announcements made by the USDHHS (United States Department of Health and Human Services) because of widespread malformation of teeth to some 41% of US citizens due to fluoridation, I have just last weekend requested a meeting with the Minister for Health, Mr. Leo Varadkar to discuss the matter for which I’ve also sought further additional support from An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny TD, the Minister for Justice Ms Frances Fitzgerald TD and the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Mr. Simon Coveney TD and considering the systematic violations to human and civil rights the policy continues to incur, I hope the Government will give this matter of urgent national important the inter Departmental attention it deserves and take action to have this matter brought to a prompt and wise conclusion in the near future.”

Sources and References

1 – “I accept the view that the mottling of the teeth of ten per cent of the children in Ireland will not be an indication of fluorosis or of any damage or harm having been done to the children’s teeth by the fluoride ion in the water which they have drunk.”

2 – http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2015pres/04/20150427a.html