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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ireland - Fluoridation 'cutting tooth decay'

Fluoridation 'cutting tooth decay'
Paul Anderson
Tooth decay levels are lower among children with fluoridated domestic water, a cross-Border survey of oral health shows today.
Among the study's findings was that 15-year-olds in the Republic, where public water supplies are fluoridated, have 40 per cent fewer decayed, missing or filled teeth than their counterparts in the North where the public water supply is not fluoridated.
The survey compared levels of oral health in children and adolescents with those found in surveys done in the 1990s and a national oral health survey in 1984.
The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, who unveiled the report, said it was an important component of a larger research project evaluating national oral health and dental services.
Ms Harney said: "Although decay levels are higher amongst the less well off, it has been found that fluoridation is effective in both disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged groups. In contrast to many other health promotion activities, water fluoridation prevents tooth decay across the social divide."
Fluoridation of water is a controversial practice. It is a particularly sensitive subject in the United States because of fears of mass litigation in the event that a link between fluoridation and ill health is recognised by a court.
Half of all fluoride ingested is stored in the body, accumulating in calcifying tissue such as teeth and bones.
While experts agree that most people are not affected by fluoridation, professional bodies and healthcare practitioners - including Nobel Prize winner Dr Arvid Carlsson - believe it can cause arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer.
A causal link between fluoridation and such illness has never been categorically established, although a Harvard study published last year found it causes a rare form of bone cancer in boys.


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