Written Answers. - Water Flouridation.

Trevor Sargent

Ceist:

52 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to recent studies linking fluoridation of water with public health problems, such as fluorosis, which is a chronic disease characterised by mottling and excessive wear of developing teeth and osteoporosis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8430/96]

,Limerick East): Dental fluorosis is a chronic condition and is not acute, debilitating or life-threatening. It is always caused by excessive, i.e. higher than optimal, fluoride injection over a period of years. The amount of fluoride added to public water supplies in Ireland is regularly monitored to ensure that the levels of fluoride as provided for in the Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act, 1960, are adhered to. In addition the presence of dental fluorosis has been investigated thoroughly by means of scientific studies carried out since water fluoridation began here more than 30 years ago. The results of these studies show and confirm that the condition is not a public health problem in the State.

The relationship between dental enamel fluorosis and the long-term consumption of excessive fluoride in the diet is very well known and has been documented for very many years, commencing about 100 years ago.

Definitive scientific investigations have not established that there is any link between the fluoridation of public water supplies and osteoporosis.