Fluoridation of drinking water


Public drinking-water may be enriched with fluoride to take advantage of its powerful caries-preventing effect. Doubts persist, however, concerning the application of this trace element on account of its toxic effect. Fluoride doses only twice those which effectively prevent caries may cause slight disturbances of the calcification of enamel, and doses about 20 times greater, when taken over a long period, are known to cause damage to the skeletal system. Fluorosis is the disease caused by excess intake of fluorine.


Research indicates that the use of chlorine (of the same chemical group as fluorine) in drinking water (to kill bacteria) may increase the risk of leukaemia in children.


Silicofluorides, or SiF, are used in more than 90 percent of the fluoridated water in the USA. Children (a sample of 150,000) who live in areas where silicofluorides are used were found to be at greater risk of having lead levels in their blood higher than the standard acceptable level. SiF increases the body's ability to absorb lead, which leads to negative effects on intelligence and cognitive abilities, and researchers say the results can be permanent and severe. Along with learning problems, symptoms of high lead levels can include ADD/ADHD symptoms, violent behavior, and drug use.


1. Most people would be shocked to learn that there have been no adequate studies of long-term low-level exposure to silicofluorides.

2. There is a need to look more closely at the risk/benefit ratio of fluoride. While it provides modest benefits in preventing tooth decay, the question remains whether these benefits are worth the other risks.

3. It is of doubtful legality; it offends deep convictions concerning doctoring without consent; it is against the medical tradition of care for the individual; against the function of a public water supply; against sane economics; against the considered opinion of eminent nutritionists, biochemists, physiologists, pharmacologists, allergists, toxicologists; above all, it is against natural caution and common sense. (Dr C G Dobbs, Professor of Microbiology, University of North Wales, Associate Royal College of Science).


Water fluoridation is a practical, safe and efficient public health measure. Fluoride is a normal component of human and animal tissues, found mostly in teeth and bones. It occurs naturally in varying amounts of all water supplies and in most foods. Studies made in different parts of the world show that dental caries is much less common where the fluoride content is around one part fluoride per million parts of water. A recent survey in the USA showed that 49.9% of all children has no decay in their permanent teeth, as against 36.6% in a similar 1979-1980 study and an estimated 28% in the early 1970s.

(E) Emanations of other problems