Only a few years ago fluoridation was the controversial water treatment. Communities were frequently in dispute when it was announced that fluoride would be added to the water supply. Fluoridation was started in Britain in 1955. This was following evidence submitted by American doctors that lower rates of tooth decay occurred in areas which higher than average fluoride levels in their water. Due to the level of opposition against fluoridation only 9% of people in Britain receive fluoridated water.
It was decided that a level 0f 1mg/l of fluoride would lead to a reduction in tooth decay without giving any threat to health.
Evidence is now gathering against fluoridation:-
Firstly, in 1976 the Netherlands discontinued fluoridation completely after a number of doctors linked hypersensitivity to fluoridated water. It was also tried and abandoned in a few towns in West Germany for the same reason. In addition the United States have reopened the debate over the risks involved with fluoridation.
Secondly, a phenomenon known as dental fluorosis has been widely reported. Dental fluorosis occurs due to the ingestion of fluoride when the teeth are developing. The tooth’s enamel is rendered slightly more porous than normal. Early signs of damage are thin white liens running across the enamel. Dentists who look for signs of dental fluorosis in this country say that it is widespread in fluoridated areas.
Thirdly, a decline in tooth decay is occurring worldwide probably due to improved dental hygiene and eating habits. It was even found that the reduction in tooth decay in New Zealand was most marked in non-fluoridated areas.
It is generally accepted that fluoridation is unnecessary when the incidence in dental decay is low. It remains to be seen whether fluoridation will be continued in these areas.
WHO Level = 1.5 mg/l
EC MAC (8 – 12 Deg C) = 1.5 mg/l
EC MAC (25 – 30 Deg C) = 0.7 mg/l