As a young man I was always appalled by the story that was always talked about but never confirmed that at scout and later at army cadet force camp our young male sexual drive was kept in check by the addition of bromide to the water in our tea. We were always assured by those in charge, that this was just an apocryphal story because it would be dangerous to add such a toxic compound to the water on which we all so depended and that in the UK at least it was always pure and wholesome.
The question of mass fluoridation of the UK water supplies has come to the fore again with this Guardian article, titled ‘The city of Southampton to get its first fluoridation project in 25 years, despite 78% opposition in consultation’.
There is a fear by anti-fluoridation campaigners that this small scheme will open the flood doors to government proposals to introduce schemes all across the country. It is reported that authorities in northwest England are the next in line to revisit their proposals.
The arguments for and against fluoridation have been strongly put by both sides. The case for fluoridation is the improvement in child tooth decay, together with possible benefit for teeth decay in adults. The case against fluoridation has been more complex from questioning the unproven nature of the beneficial effects, the potential harm to public health (particularly from using a highly contaminated toxic waste!), removal of individual choice and the right of consent to ‘medical’ treatment.
My view is that ‘poor science’ has been used to measure the benefits and even if proven fluoridation will only achieve benefits that could be obtained far more successfully and with no risk to public health by greater emphasis on dental education. Have you tried to get a non-fluoride toothpaste lately?
My overriding concern is that mass fluoridation is an attack on the basic medical ethic, enshrined in the European Human Rights Convention, that patients must have the right to refuse or discontinue medication.
Of personal concern is that the northwest of England may be next in line for fluoridation. I am particularly concerned as the beautiful surface water that much of this region depends on for its drinking water, is already contaminated by United Utilities PLC with phosphate as a ‘cheap’ way of enabling the company to meet its EU regulation on the concentration of lead arising from the pipe infrastructure. They then charge the consumer to remove this extra phosphate from their sewage.
It is really a sad day when the water companies whom we trust and pay large sums of money to take out harmful impurities from our water supplies are engaged in adding a cocktail of toxic compounds to drinking water that the many consumers are unaware of and who would prefer are not added.
Update (16/11/2016): Featured image added from this source.