Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Questions (629, 653)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

629. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Health if he will review the current policy of fluoridating our water supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12754/13]

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Terence Flanagan

Question:

653. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to concerns regrading the presence of fluoride in water; his plans to remove fluoride from the water supply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13015/13]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 629 and 653 together.

Water fluoridation and the use of appropriate fluorides is a major plank of public health policy in Ireland in the prevention and management of tooth decay. In 2002 the Forum on Fluoridation, which was established to review this policy, concluded that the fluoridation of public piped water supplies should continue as a public health measure. The effects of fluoridation on health and related matters are kept under constant review. The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, established in 2004, monitors new and emerging issues on fluoride and its effects. It advises that the balance of scientific evidence worldwide confirms that water fluoridation, at the optimal level, does not cause any ill effects and is the safest and most cost effective method of protecting the oral health of the population. The opinion of the Expert Body is supported by the World Health Organisation; the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Service and the Surgeon General of the United States; the World Dental Federation; the International Association for Dental Research; the Royal College of Physicians of England and by major international scientifically validated reviews in many countries.