THE Chief Dental Officer has rebutted an article in last week’s Sentinel that showed research warning excess tap water fluoride can mottle teeth and cause crippling skeletal fluorosis was not held by the Department of Health despite Edwin Poots’ consideration of fluoridating our drinking water. Here’s Mr Simon Reid’s rebuttal:
I would draw your attention to Kevin Mullan’s article on water fluoridation in your 18 September edition. The article was entitled ‘Minister doesn’t have WHO paper on fluoride dangers’ and refers to a 1996 World Health Organisation report ‘Fluoride in Drinking Water.’ There is no such 1996 report and Mr Mullan had in fact contacted DHSSPS regarding the 2006 World Health Organisation report. He had requested, under Freedom of Information legislation, Departmental literature that responded specifically to this 2006 report but as the WHO had not asked the DHSSPS for a response, no such records are held. DHSSPS is aware of this 2006 report, which is in the public domain, and it has been used in consideration of the issue of water fluoridation. However it is important to highlight to your readers that this report mainly relates to reducing the very high naturally occurring concentrations of fluoride in the water supplies in certain countries where the problem that Mr Mullan highlights of “crippling skeletal fluorosis” can occur. Those concentrations are very much higher than those used in water fluoridation and as is controlled by legislation. Minister Poots continues to consider the issue of water fluoridation and recognises that there are strongly held opinions.
Should he decide to make proposals to introduce water fluoridation there would be a public consultation and we would welcome the views of all interested parties, at that time. Yours sincerely Simon Reid BDS MFGDP MMedSc MDPH.”