Thursday, February 05, 2009

Water fluoridation for Bristol??

In late January Bernard J Seward, a campaigner from the National Pure Water Association and the Safe Water Campaign for Avon, Gloucester and Wiltshire had a letter in the local paper about a possible public consultation in the Bristol area on putting fluoride in all our drinking water. It seems that there is a drive for more water fluoridation from central government. There are therefore understandable concerns that consultations on the issue would not be genuinely open as to the outcome.

I’ve spent a few days looking from all angles at as much information as I can on the issue. There are, however, significant problems obtaining a decent amount of high quality research showing that putting fluoride in drinking water safely and effectively does what it is supposed to do – reduce tooth decay. Available research is often categorised as of only moderate quality because bias and lack of control are evident and analysis is lacking. No clinical trials have been conducted. No license obtained for fluoridated water. Why not? Fluoridated water aims to create bodily changes to fight tooth decay does it not?

Other aspects of the issue defy good scientific practice too. The dose of fluoridated water received by each person depends on the amount of water we drink. Since we all drink different amounts the dose is highly variable – and will be received over a long period of time. Further, the people receiving the dose are highly variable too and unlike being prescribed a treatment by a GP, wont be seen beforehand and wont have their medical history checked. The whole scenario lacks control.

Most of Europe has seen falling rates of tooth decay for several decades – without a policy of widespread water fluoridation. Fluoride is available by choice in toothpaste. Salt containing fluoride could also be made widely available alongside non-fluoridated salt. Those who don’t want to consume fluoride, or have no need to, have a choice now but obviously cannot choose not to drink water and fluoridation is not essential to supplying safe water unlike chlorination to kill bacteria!! If all our drinking water was fluoridated they would therefore be consuming something designed to create bodily changes without their consent. It is the norm in our society to consent to treatment and we should stay consistent with this.

There is no substitute for regular dental check-ups where all sorts of medical issues can be covered. One wonders, given the difficulties people have experienced in recent years with getting an NHS dentist, whether the focus should be there and not with water fluoridation!!

The maximum concentration of fluoride currently allowed in our water is 1.5 mg/l. Any water fluoridation system would have to stay below this legal limit or perhaps an even lower limit would be set. There is always going to be debate over what ‘safe’ levels are. Its clear that the substances used to fluoridate water (sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate) are, as pure substances, most unpleasant to say the least. That fluorosilicic acid is a by-product from phosphate fertiliser manufacturing hardly adds to the case for its use! Overfeeding of such substances into drinking water has caused serious health problems, as at Hooper Bay in Alaska in the 1990’s, where equipment and human failure resulted in 1 death and 295 cases of fluoride poisoning(details here). Overfeed precautions and plans for defluoridation if limits are exceeded are of course not needed if you don’t fluoridate in the first place!

Key local and regional decision makers and further information:

I've written to Dr Hugh Annett, Director of Public Health for NHS Bristol and Bristol City Council via , and the Strategic Health Authority via on this issue and hope others will too.


  1. I'm extremely uneasy about this forced medication - especially as there is a lack of robust evidence to support the policy. The fact that fluoridation causes fluorosis of teeth for 1 in six people alone is enough to regard this policy as flawed in my view.

  2. I'm opposed to mass water fluoridation. People should not have their choice removed. I fear that central government has made up its mind that we should have it though and thus consultations my be biased.

  3. I've just learned this by reading someone's comments on an AMERICAN forum! Yes it is forced medication. I object violently to being medicated against my will and it is just another step on the road to government control over everything we do, say and now eat and drink. It'll be bottled water for me in future then, if it's fresh out the ground, and if they doctor the bottled water then I'll dig my own well!

  4. (sorry here is a corrected version)


    It is my hearts wish that we can see through the lies that have been 'sold' to us and STOP pretending that Capitalism is any more of a workable Utopia than Communism might have been.

    It's NOT politics that will save human kind from it's own delusions and ignorance, but people, this means we ARE all individually responsible for the state of our planet and our collective well being.

    As the ego driven and frankly selfish capitalist system collapses the already bloated banks into larger and larger corporate conglomerates, we are sadly likely to see the 'New World Order' increasingly becoming a reality in everyones lives (as is visibly taking place currently).

    Change will only come when the middle classes are effected by invasive new laws, and enforced medication so on and so on- it is the job of those with the most political voting power to ACT and say NO- please do your part and stand up to this now while you still have the choice!

  5. NWO is coming "annon" but you must be a complete d1ckhead to think it's vie private enterprise it will come.

    Capitalism is the only force of fairness. It's big business coupled with big government which pushes the NWO agenda, none of which have any connection with Lassie fair capitalism. Big government imposes tarrifs and regulation to favour big banks and big business, it's lonly the right to start your own which prevents you from being controlled entirely by big corporations.

    If you fear the NWO, why are you arguing for the expansion of government control? Where do we move from capitalism? Communism? Facism? Those are pretty much the other alternatives, and this is exactly what their propoganda machine want you to beg for!

  6. Dominique PahudThursday, May 14, 2009

    I feel a so angry about this issue, that I am finding it hard to know where to start.

    It seems that the DoH, parliament and other decision makers take little or no notice of public consultation as was demonstrated in Southampton. Here 72% of 10,000 voted against the fluoridation of water. So how do we proceed when then the democratic process seems to be ignored? Civil unrest, demonstration?

    Does anybody know when the publis consultation for Bristol is due to take place?

  7. I have a written guarantee from NHS Bristol that they wont ignore the result of any public consultation. Despite this I am concerned that others eg the regional health authority might ignore public opinion.

    The authorities are currently in the early stages of the process that apparently will lead to a public consultation. This gives time for people to organise how/when/why/what to contribute to the consultation. When I have further information about this issue I will certainly post it on this blog!!


Genuine, open, reasonable debate is most welcome. Comments that meet this test will always be published.