Ceisteanna—Questions Oral Answers. - Water Fluoridation.

8.

asked the Minister for Health if he intends to re-examine the position regarding the fluoridation of water in view of the increasing concern throughout the world as to its effects.

I am not aware that there is increasing concern throughout the world about the effects of fluoridation of water supplies. On the contrary, there is growing evidence to show the safety and effectiveness of the measure as a means of inhibiting dental decay.

I do not consider that there are any grounds which would justify my reexamining policy on the fluoridation of public water supplies in this country.

Everybody agrees on its beneficial effects in arresting dental decay, but the Swedish Parliament recently repealed their laws allowing fluoridation and there is a considerable and growing body of opinion in America and Great Britain that there are other side effects. Even though they admit that it has a beneficial effect on teeth they say there are other side effects of which we are not yet fully aware.

We have had the teeth of a great number of children examined and we found no side effects arising from fluoridation. I rely on the World Health Organisation inquiry into this. They said that a given part of fluoride per million parts of water is entirely safe.