Residents in Waterloo, Ontario have voted to stop adding fluoride to water supplies.
The decision, which was announced on Tuesday, has been welcomed by anti-fluoride campaigners; however, the news has shocked dentists and the incoming head of the Ontario Dental Association has condemned the decision. Dr Harry Hoediono has criticised the decision, saying that people are unaware of the dental health benefits of fluoride and are voting to stop fluoridation based on flimsy evidence they have downloaded from the internet. Dr Hoediono said that it was a shame that such an important decision could be made by a small group of people who perhaps do not have the necessary knowledge to make an informed decision.
Campaigners against fluoride believe that adding fluoride to the water supply is tantamount to poisoning and are lobbying for fluoridation to be stopped all over Canada. Opponents of fluoride claim the chemical is illegal, unnecessary and dangerous; campaigners believe fluoride contributes to health conditions, including increased risk of cancer, thyroid disease and arthritis.
Public health officials and dentists in the area are outraged by the decision; numerous studies conducted all over the world have consistently shown that fluoride helps to strengthen and protect the teeth, which reduces rates of decay. Fluoride also helps to cut costs for public health services as people are less likely to need dental treatment.
Most councillors were opposed to stopping fluoridation; however, they voted in favour of stopping it to support public opinion. Regional Chairman, Ken Seiling, said he did not believe much of what protestors had to say; however, he claimed that health officials had failed to run an effective campaign, which meant that people were largely unaware of the benefits of fluoride.
18 November 2010
Source: Cosmetic Dentistry
– Health Professionals Call for End to Water Fluoridation:
Over 1,600 Professionals Call for an End to Fluoridation of Drinking Water