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UK Against Fluoridation

Monday, September 08, 2008

UK - The Great Fluoride Debate

The Great Fluoride Debate
10:30am Monday 8th September 2008
By Jon Reeve »
IT HAS already been a hot topic of conversation for months, but now the talking finally starts for real.
Today marks the official start of a 14-week consultation on controversial plans to add fluoride to the tap water of nearly 200,000 Hampshire residents.
Health chiefs in Southampton say the scheme is needed to improve chronic levels of tooth decay amongst children, mainly in more deprived areas of the city.
Last year alone, more than 500 city youngsters had surgery to remove diseased teeth under general anaesthetic.
But campaigners against fluoridation say it is a dangerous process that can lead to worrying side effects including damaged teeth, brittle bones, cancer and even lowered IQ in youngsters.
Today, as the debate starts for real, we lead you through the arguments with the views of the opposing camps.
The public consultation, which runs until December 19, will feature public drop-in events where residents and workers can go to find out more and express their views on the scheme.
Southampton City Primary Care Trust wants to increase the amount of fluoride in the water delivered to 160,000 Southampt-on residents – two-thirds of the city – from 0.08 parts per million (ppm) to one ppm.
That is the level they say is considered to offer the best impact in reducing tooth decay.
Among those who would receive fluoridated water are those living in seven of 11 identified target areas where dental health is poorest.
But while another four priority zones fall outside the areas to be fluoridated, 36,000 people living in areas outside the city – in Eastleigh, Totton and Netley – will receive extra fluoride despite there being no major concerns about dental health there.
And the consultation itself, which is costing £178,000, has already proved controversial.
South Central Strategic Health Authority, which is independently overseeing the exercise, was forced to rewrite its own informational leaflets because they were found to be too biased in favour of fluoride. There has also been criticism that guidelines say only views from people who base their opinions on accepted evidence will be counted.
When the Daily Echo held a snap-shot poll on the proposals in June, we received more than 25,000 votes – 67 per cent of which were against fluoridation, although there was no limit on the number of times people could have their say.


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