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UK Against Fluoridation

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Water fluoridation and human health in Australia

Community water fluoridation is the adjustment of fluoride in drinking water to reach a level that can help to reduce tooth decay.
In Australia, community water fluoridation programs are considered a safe and effective way of reducing tooth decay across the population. Tooth decay is one of the most common health problems in Australia. It can cause pain, difficulty eating and sleeping, and may make people feel unhappy about their appearance.  In Australia, dental health has improved since water fluoridation began in the 1950s. Compared to their parents’ generation, Australians born after 1970 (when the majority of water fluoridation programs commenced in Australia) have about half the level of tooth decay.1
Along with a healthy diet, good oral hygiene, appropriate use of fluoridated toothpaste and regular dental check-ups, water fluoridation is an effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.

Have your say

NHMRC has released its Draft Public Statement 2017: Water fluoridation and human health in Australia (draft 2017 Public Statement) for public consultation. This contains NHMRC’s recommendation on community water fluoridation, and a proposed range within which NHMRC supports states and territories fluoridating their drinking water supplies. It reflects the latest evidence on the potential link between water fluoridation and human health relevant to Australia.
To provide feedback on the draft 2017 Public Statement visit the NHMRC Public Consultation Portal. Consultation is open until 3 August 2017.

Latest evidence on water fluoridation and human health in Australia

After a thorough review of the latest scientific research on the potential link between water fluoridation and human health relevant to Australia, NHMRC concludes that community water fluoridation helps to reduce tooth decay. There is no reliable evidence that water fluoridation at current Australian levels causes health problems.
The Information Paper – Water fluoridation: dental and other human health outcomes (Information Paper) presents the key findings of the evidence reviewed and assesses how relevant these findings are for Australia.
The Evidence Evaluation Report and Technical Report provide further information about the body of evidence underpinning the Information Paper. 
For more information about the development processes for the resources above refer to the Administrative Report.
The Fluoride Reference Group - a committee of health, dental and other experts, such as those with expertise in epidemiology, ethics and water management - guided this work. 

Fluoride Reference Group

NHMRC established the Fluoride Reference Group to guide the evaluation of the evidence on the potential health effects of water fluoridation. The Fluoride Reference Group considered the outcomes of the evidence evaluation and advised on how relevant these findings are for Australia. This is important as studies from overseas countries may have much higher levels of fluoride than levels used in Australia. The group also used the findings to provide advice on the Information Paper, which provides a summary of the evidence evaluation and its key findings.


For further information please contact NHMRC at fluoride@nhmrc.gov.au(link sends e-mail).


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