No flouride for county water

FLUORIDE will not be added to Suffolk's water any time soon, it emerged today.

By REBECCA LEFORT

health reporter

rebecca.lefort@eveningstar.co.uk>

FLUORIDE will not be added to Suffolk's water any time soon, it emerged today.


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But health bosses in the county said the drastic move could be an option in the future in a drive to improve dental health.

Last week a health authority voted to add fluoride to water in south Hampshire, against the wishes of many residents and campaigners.

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And health secretary Alan Johnson has called on all primary care trusts (PCT), such as NHS Suffolk, to consider the move.

But NHS Suffolk's consultant in dental public health, Richard Ward, said the trust would not make any decision until it got the results from a large survey of tooth decay in five-year-olds in the county.

He added: “The survey will show us where the dental decay is and then we can think about the best way of dealing with it.

“We suspect that we will see quite small areas of dental decay because the vast majority of kids are pretty healthy.

“There are a number of ways of dealing with dental decay such as tooth brushing schemes. We always have fluoridation in mind but it is one on a number of options.

“The PCT has not formally discussed fluoridation.”

Once the survey, which is due to be completed in the next few months, has been analysed NHS Suffolk could decide to ask for water to be added with fluoride in the area.

If that decision was taken a public consultation would be launched by the East of England Strategic Health Authority.

Dental experts say adding fluoride prevents dental decay and reduces health inequalities.

However critics argue that its safety has not been proven, and it is a form of mass-medication.

Would you like to see fluoride added to Suffolk's water? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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