A West Midlands woman with severe thyroid problems was today revealed as the first person in the UK to be taking legal action because of the level of fluoride in her drinking water.

The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, is suing her local health authority because she claims her tap water has been “poisoned” with fluoride for the past 40 years.

The case is expected to have a domino effect in Birmingham, one of only two main areas in the country where fluoride has been pumped into drinking water since 1964.

It follows concerns raised by the National Pure Water Association that high levels of fluoride in Birmingham water could lead to hip fractures and skeletal degeneracy.

Jane Jones, campaigns manager for the association, said: “This is the first time a person has ever taken legal action because of the consequences of fluoride in the water.

“The poor woman is suffering from severe thyroid problems which she claims is due to the fluoride which has poisoned her drinking water.

“She is being represented by a legal firm in London, but I cannot disclose any more information because the case is still in its early stages.

“This legal action is really going to snowball as more people realise they can feasibly take their case to court and win.”

Only 10 per cent of the UK population has fluoridated drinking water and the majority is concentrated in the West Midlands and the north east of England.

Birmingham drinking water contains one milligram of fluoride per litre.

A spokesman for Severn Trent Water said: “We are just the contractor and don’t set the levels of fluoride in the water.”

Paul Castle, a spokesman for Birmingham’s health services, said: “The levels of fluoride are very low in the West Midlands and the dental health benefits are enormous. But it is true that in areas of the world where the levels of fluoride are hundreds of times higher than in Birmingham, there is evidence of skeletal degeneracy.”