UK Government Plans To Add Fluoride To Tap Water Of Millions

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Millions more Brits are to have fluoride added to their drinking water under proposed Government plans.  

Ministers want to proceed with the biggest fluoridation expansion since the 1980s as part of a controversial dental recovery plan. They say their long-term ambition is to bring fluoride to more of the country with a ‘particular focus’ on deprived areas. 

If the contentious proposals are given the go ahead, around 1.6million people in the North East will get fluoride added to their water supplies. The aeas included in the initial expansion are Northumberland, Teesside, Durham and South Tyneside.

But adding fluoride to water supplies is not without controversy.

A report from the world’s oldest and arguably one of its most prestigious medical journals, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin, in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury.

The Mail Online reports: Some studies have linked excessive quantities of the mineral to babies being born with Down’s syndrome, as well as kidney stones and some cancers. 

However, the NHS and experts like the Government’s chief medical officer Sir Chris Whitty say these claims are not backed up by evidence, with the latter previously describing them as ‘exaggerated and unevidenced’. 

Around 5.8million Britons live in areas where fluoride – also added to toothpastes and mouthwashes – is already placed in tap water. 

And 300,000 drink supplies naturally fluoridated by rocks in the ground. 

In total, only 10 per cent of the UK’s population currently get water with sufficient fluoride levels, according to the British Fluoridation Society. 

Health bosses have estimated that adding fluoride to more water supplies could prevent two-thirds of hospital admissions for tooth decay, an issuing costing the NHS, and by extension the taxpayer, millions. 

While adding fluoride to water, a process called fluoridation, has been done before in the UK, expansion of the scheme has largely stalled since the 1980s.

Modern attempts to bring to British communities have largely failed during the consultation stage, with the public not convinced of the benefits compared to the perceived risk. 

Fluoridation is a flashpoint issue in the US, with Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr earlier this week labelling it a ‘neurotoxic’ and vowing to remove it from drinking supplies if elected. 

The Government’s dental recovery plan, published this week, includes fluoridation as a core component.

‘Under new legislation, we have made it simpler to start new water fluoridation schemes,’ it reads.

‘Our long-term ambition is to systematically bring fluoridation to more of the country, with a particular focus on the most deprived areas, which stand to benefit most from fluoridation.’

The plan also states that despite the benefits of fluoridation to public dental health, there has been no ‘significant’ expansion of the scheme since the 1980s.

It noted that only one in 10 people in England are drinking water containing the mineral, compared to almost three in four in Ireland and the US, and 9 in 10 Australians. 

In 2021, Professor Whitty and colleagues said if all five-year-olds with drinking water containing less than 0.2 milligram per litre (mg/l) of fluoride started drinking water boosted to 0.7 mg/l, the number with cavities would fall by up to 28 per cent among the poorest communities.

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15071 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.