Fluoride plans abandoned

May 2nd, 2014

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Plans to add fluoride to drinking water in Southampton have been cancelled.

It was proposed fluoride be added to the drinking water of Southampton and surrounding areas, affecting the 160,000 people living in Southampton, and a further 35,000 living nearby. However, Public Health England (PHE) issued a statement saying that will be taking no further action to implement the plans.

While PHE supports water fluoridation as an effective measure of tackling tooth decay in children, it does not wish to ‘proceed without the backing of Southampton City Council’, as this is where the majority live who would be affected.

Duncan Selbie, PHE chief executive, regrets having to stop the plans, but believes it is ‘the right decision in the circumstances’. While water fluoridation could make a significant different to the oral health of children in the area, particularly those in socially deprived locations, Selbie plans to continue to work with the City Council in order to find new ways of tackling the serious problem of tooth decay in young children.

Cllr Royston Smith is happy to hear the news, claiming that PHE did not properly consult the public on the matter, and hopes that this will ensure PHE listens more carefully to local residents’ concerns and will not fluoridate the water.

Similarly, Professor Stephen Peckham, part of the Hampshire Against Fluoridation campaign group, is glad to hear of the decision, noting that he does not believe there was a ‘groundswell of support’, and that it was the only decision possible.

He adds that he hopes this means the council will take more interest in how to educate people on maintaining good dental health, particularly in children, in terms of developing schemes that address issues such as tooth brushing.

Romsey and Southampton North MP Caroline Noakes, is equally pleased with outcome, noting that it is one they have been waiting for for a long time, and believes it will be a relief to those who have campaigned hard on the issue.

- See more at: http://dentallaboratory.org.uk/dentistry-news/fluoride-plans-abandoned/#sthash.S2Zia3Xc.dpuf

Categories: General