Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Response to Minister Jimmy Deenihan Regarding misleading information provided by Minister for Health James O Reilly on Water Fluoridation

The Minister for Health and Children has stated in correspondence concerning water fluoridation (dated 9th November 2012, in a letter to Minister Jimmy Deenihan T.D) that “The cessation of water fluoridation in Ireland would have a profound impact on health, social and financial costs”. 

This opinon is not based on ANY SCIENTIFIC FACTS. It is however, a documented scientific fact, that in countries which discontinued water fluoridation, oral health improved significantly post cessation. For example, both Japan and Chile (see attached graphs) discontinued water fluoridation when it was documented to negatively impact on oral health in their population, while oral health also improved dramatically in Sweden after cessation of water fluoridation.  

In addition, a medical study published in a peer reviewed journal found that in Finland that when water fluoridation ceased within three months the prevalence of medical ailments within the community decreased by 13% in three months post cessation and most importantly they found evidence to suggest that a percentage of the population is intolerant to fluoride in drinking water. [1]
Regardless of the health or environmental concerns regarding water fluoridation it is important to note that the Directorate General, Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission have stated that “the decision whether or not to fluoridate a public water supply raises a number of issues of an ethical and moral nature, including such questions as whether fluoridation represents mass medication with an uncontrolled dose, and whether it is an infringement of the rights of the individual.”

The Directrorate General furthermore strongly advised that  “self-determination and the right of parents to choose for their children were values which should not be lightly overridden.”[2]

Irish citizens have never been given a choice on consuming fluoridated water.

The WHO in addition, recommend that to determine when it is appropriate to fluoridate is a matter that requires the prior determination of prevailing fluoride intake from all sources including drinking water, food and the general environment.

No such study was ever undertaken by the Irish Authorities either prior to commencement of fluoridation or in the period since.  No accurate dietary health risk assessment has been undertaken in Ireland to examine the exposure of all sectors of the population to fluoride. 

The Former East Germany commenced water fluoridation in 1960 and terminated the policy in 1990 on unification with West Germany. Immediately upon cessation of water fluoridation in the former East Germany states there was a significant improvement in oral health. The Government of Germany as with many other EU Member States are of the opinion that water fluoridation is mass medicationnof the population without their consent.

West Germany commennced water fluoridation in 1952 and terminated the policy in 1971. 
The Netherlands commenced water fluoridation in 1953 and terminated the policy in 1976. 
The Czeck Republic commenced water fluridation in 1960 and terminated the policy in 1989. 
Sweden commenced water fluoridation in 1952 and terminated the policy in 1971.      
Finland commenced water fluoridation in 1959 and terminated the policy in 1992 while Basel the last city in Switzerland that was fluoridated terminated the policy in 2003.

In the period prior to 1990 there were only three countries in the EU that had better oral health than Ireland. Today, despite Ireland being the only EU country with a mandated national policy on water fluoridation, supported by the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health and Dental Health Foundation Ireland (both bodies funded by the Irish taxpayer) who inaccurately claim, in clear contradiction to the findings of the EU Commission, that water fluoridation is the single most effective method of treating and preventing dental decay; after over four decades of fluoridating the irish population, Ireland now has the worse oral Health of all western EU Countries. 

The EU Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) concluded in 2010 that the topical application of fluoride using fluoridated toothpaste is the most effective method in preventing tooth decay, in additon the committee found that the continued systemic exposure of the population to fluoride from whatever source is questionable once the permanent teeth have erupted and the benefits of fluoridation to adult and elderly populations in terms of reductions in coronal and root decay are limited. They further found that a very narrow margin exists between achieveing the maximum beneficial effects of fluoride and adverse effects.[3]

[3] Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks, European Commission, Director General Health and Consumers, Critical Review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water, May 2010

[1] Lamberg et al. Symptoms experienced during periods of actual and supposed water fluoridation. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 1997: 25:291-5
[2] Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General, Health Surveillance in Europe, European Global Oral Health, Indicators Development Project, SPC 2002472, Final Report, 2003-2005

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