Should fluoride be added to our tap water? Wakefield Council to hear the evidence

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Adding fluoride to drinking water is a waste of money and could harm people’s health, according to evidence presented to Wakefield Council.

A council watchdog considering whether the move would cut rates of tooth decay has received a report titled The Case Against Water Fluoridation.

Its author Joy Warren will present the report to the council’s Caring for Our People overview and scrutiny committee today.

The report said it would cost Wakefield Council £140,000 a year to add fluoride to the district’s tap water.

It said: “This would be an unjustifiable waste of money since it could never be a financially viable proposition to spend that amount of non-targeted money for the sake of a tiny percentage of disadvantaged tiny tots when targeted dental hygiene education would be far less expensive and more effective.”

The report also claims a US study linked exposure to fluoridated water with rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among kids.

Wakefield Council has been considering fluoridation to cut tooth decay after research found that 40 per cent of five-year-olds and one in five three-year-olds had decayed teeth. Five-year-olds were one and a half times more likely to have tooth decay than the rest of England.

A report by Public Health England has suggested water fluoridation is safe and effective.

But the Case Against Water Fluoridation said: “We ask if it is equitable to expect entire populations to be fluoridated with a compulsory medicine for the sake of small children belonging to disadvantaged families which appear to be incapable of practising dental hygiene and providing nourishing food.”