Thursday, January 3, 2013
Statement Against Water Fluoridation by the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water.
In 1992, following unification of Germany the DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water) issued a professional statement on water fluoridation which highlighted the risk management, hazard analysis and public safety concerns regarding fluoridation of drinking water supplies.
Water fluoridation was practiced in the former GFR up to 1990. Upon unification the practice of artificial fluoridation was immediately terminated on health, ethical and environmental grounds in all regions throughout the former East Germany.
The statement by the DVGW was issued as a number of dental professionals raised concerns that by terminating fluoridation of drinking water the dental health of the population would deteriorate significantly. Similar opinions have been raised by the Minister for Health in Ireland as justification for continuing with the policy of mandatory fluoridation of drinking water supplies. Ireland remains the last country in the EU to support the mandatory fluoridation of drinking water supplies.
The DVGW is the oldest independent and unbiased technical and scientific Gas and Water Association in the World. The DVGW has 13,000 members, 400 employees and 3 affiliated research institutes and has been providing technical and scientific support for the German gas and water industry since 1859. The DVGW work with the Federal Minister for Health and the Federal Environmental Agency in developing National guidelines for water management, water quality and risk management as well as ensuring the provision of safe drinking water supplies.
All the activities of the DVGW focus on safety, hygiene and environmental protection, taking efficiency and cost-effectiveness into consideration to ensure safe gas and water supplies at the highest international levels.
These same principles of management were applied by the DVGW to the examination of fluoridation of drinking water.
The following are direct quotes from the DVGW position statement on fluoridation of drinking water supplies:
(1) “It is not the task of water supply companies to add substances to drinking water intended as prophylactics against illness not caused by drinking water.”
(2) “Caries is not the manifestation of fluoride deficiency, but is the result of a generally false nutrition and inefficient dental hygiene. Unwholesome habits resulting in caries are not eliminated by the fluoridation of drinking water; on the contrary, they are promoted.”
(3) “The suggested optimal fluoride concentration of 1 mg per litre is very close to the dose with which long term detrimental effects in people cannot be excluded. . . the limit value in drinking water cannot be justified in view of different habits and therefore differing consumption of drinking water and the uncontrolled intake of fluorides from other sources. The safety of a lifelong accumulation of fluoride in the human body as a result of increased intake is disputed in medical science throughout the world.”
(4) “More than 99 per cent [of fluoride contained in drinking water] would be discharged with waste water directly into the environment. This additional fluoride emission into waters is unacceptable for ecological reasons.”
(5) “The consumer cannot avoid fluoridated drinking water made available by public water supply. This mandatory intake of fluoride violates the basic right to bodily freedom from injury . . . provided by the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany.”
(6) “Fluoride intake for the prevention of caries is more effective with specific measures taken by the individual than by fluoridation of drinking water.”
(7) “An assessment of risks vs. benefits involving both the health aspects and ecological consequences justifies DVGW’s rejection of the fluoridation of drinking water.”
The position paper of the DVGW is available to view at:
What is however most interesting is that post-cessation of water fluoridation, contrary to the opinions of the dental profession warning of dire dental health consequences for the population, dental health among the population improved to the highest standards since before fluoridation began in 1959. This occurred in spite of the fact that only natural water without added fluoride was available to all citizens.
Further research also documented that in contrast to the anticipated increase in dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation, a different caries trend was observed with a significant fall in caries prevalence. This trend corresponded to the national caries decline and appeared to be a new population-wide phenomenon. This research provided further support to demonstrate that fluoridation of water is ineffective in preventing caries prevalence and may contribute to an increase in dental decay due to fluoridation of water. Similar experiences showing a significant improvement in dental health were observed in other countries that stopped fluoridation in particular Chile, Finland, the Netherlands, Japan and Sweden. Despite the overwhelming international evidence to the contrary, public health authorities in countries that continue to promote water fluoridation continue to make misinformed and inaccurate statements in support of this outdated and dangerous policy.
 Kunzel W,Fischer T. Rise and fall of caries prevalence in German towns with different F concentrations in drinking water. Caries Res. 1997;31(3):166-73.
 Künzel W, Fischer T, Lorenz R, Brühmann S. Decline of caries prevalence after the cessation of water fluoridation in the former East Germany. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 2000 Oct;28(5):382-9.