by Jenny Hope
from DailyMail Website
In the water: Adding fluoride to water has been called 'mass medication' by critics
A health trust has become the first to force through a move to add fluoride to tap water to fight tooth decay in children. The decision was made using new laws to introduce fluoridation, although three in four members of the public and a county council opposed it.
Adding fluoride to water has been described by critics as 'mass medication' of the population because, unlike chlorine, it is not added to make supplies safe. Around 200,000 people in Southampton will be affected in an area where four in ten children have a filling by school age.
Dentists said it
would reduce the number of decayed teeth. Just 10 per cent of
England's water is fluoridated, covering 5.5million people, mainly
in the north-east and west Midlands. The last fluoridation scheme
was introduced in 1985, but the Health Secretary last year called
for further schemes after consultation, saying most people were in
But a three-month
consultation on the plans found 72 per cent of 10,000 local people
Dr Andrew Mortimore, Public Health Director, said the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation,
In the West Midlands
water has contained added fluoride since 1964 and rates of tooth
decay, especially in children, are lower.