Official check-up for Australian water fluoridation


Australia’s widespread fluoridation of drinking water to mitigate tooth decay is being put in the reclining chair for regular a check-up, as Australia’s foremost health experts seek to drill into the latest evidence on its effectiveness.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) this week called for public submissions on evidence regarding the efficacy of the practice as part of a wider, ongoing formal assessment about whether the decades-long scheme is bringing the desired benefits.

The call for published scientific articles is the first step in what the NHMRC says is “a comprehensive review process” to make sure the advice it provides “is based on the most current evidence.”

The issue of fortifying town drinking water supplies has risen sharply in prominence over the last few years after anti-fluoridation groups in some regional communities agitated strongly for the removal of the compound from town water supplies in a number of local government areas.

However dentists have strongly rejected the calls for the removal of fluoride from drinking water, sticking by its efficacy in mitigating decay and pointing to the high cost of poor oral health and even surgical interventions to remove entire sets of rotten teeth from children.

The issue of water fluoridation is a tricky one for state and local governments to navigate in Australia. Outside metropolitan areas, it is usually councils responsible for adding the compound to water supplies.

The election of the Campbell Newman government in Queensland also conspicuously left it to councils to determine whether or not they would fluoridate drinking water rather than using state government powers to stipulate a requirement.

Several local governments are across the states are also still to add fluoride to town water, often because of funding constraints or ageing infrastructure.

Amid the ongoing debate, Australia’s peak health research body is looking for the latest clinical evidence.

“Current NHMRC advice recommends that water be fluoridated at the level of 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L, which balances the benefits of reduced tooth decay with the occurrence of dental mottling (fluorosis),” the NHMRC said in a statement

“This call for published scientific articles is the first step in a comprehensive review process to ensure that NHMRC’s advice is based on the most current evidence.”

The reference to the “most current evidence” is important because it signifies that the review will be a scan for recent empirical updates rather than a wholesale review of fluoridation open to wider public submissions.

In some local government areas, anti-fluoridation activists have sought – with varying degrees of success – to persuade councillors to push for the elimination of the practice on the basis that fluoride is toxic, even in very small amounts.

Following the call for papers, the NHMRC expects evidence evaluation to be completed by mid-2015, with a public consultation on a draft information Paper slated for mid to late 2015.

It estimates that a final Information Paper will be issued by mid 2016.

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25 thoughts on “Official check-up for Australian water fluoridation

  1. I purchased oral sodium fluoride from a compounding chemist in Feb 2014. The Patient Information sheet advised it was a medication and there were risks. In Queensland it is illegal to medicate people without consent. Currently SEQwater add Sodium Fluorosilicate an S6 poison purchased from Mintchem, Shanghai, China with trace amounts of aluminium, arsenic, lead and mercury to the town water. So we are either being poisoned with minute amounts of toxins or we are being medicated against our will. I do not consent to be medicated and ask this be stopped immediately.

  2. Great News ! I have back / spine problems since they started Fluoridation in Queensland. And i have tried many treatments to no avail. After drinking spring water for three days the pain has subsided. Unfortunately it is expensive and upon going back on Tap water, the pain is back.

  3. Whether or big fluoridation is beneficial to teeth is irrelevant. We are not JUST our teeth!
    It is the long term impact on the rest of the body and the environment, that is of great concern!
    It should be the choice of individuals to use or not use fluoride as a dental treatment.
    Mass medication via the water supply is a crime against humanity. This archaic practice must be stopped immediately!

  4. Very late notification for something so important. Also believe stacked vested/conflict of interest parties involved.

  5. Oh course the Denist don’t agree , they run a business if it helps our teeth they lose money , just look at the ‘ fors and against ‘ no fluoride wins hands down .We should have a choice , like we do if we need to take a head ache pill ! This is decided for us , why can’t the people who want it who add it the their water and we would all be happy .. How can putting poison into our body be a good thing ??

  6. It is curious, though welcome, that the NHMRC has called for public submissions when there is already a wealth of current, credible, scientific, medical and research data in existence and easily accessible by the NHMRC.

    Though not “scientific” it is useful to ask why does some 95% of mainland western European countries have banned or expressly forbid the addition of fluoride to their drinking water yet Australia and the US largely use it ? What do they know and pay heed to that we seem to be ignoring ?

    There are also issues of morality, ethics and freedom of choice that are not “scientific” per se but are critical to a democratic process.

  7. Medication Forced Into Our Water Supply, No Concent, No Tests, No Control Of Overdose, Toothpaste Has A Warning No To Swollow But Were supposed To Drink This Rot. This Is industrial Chemical Waste, Expensive To Dump, So Its Repackaged. Scraped Off Of Industrial Plant Smoke Stacks, Resold And Dumped Into Our Water. Cross And Bones Chemical Toxin On The Containers, Many Accidents Have Happened At The Country Water Plant Near Me, Cattle, Lifestock Removed Access To The Creeks, Due To Spills, Too Much Added, Yet People Up The Road Are Given No Warning. Its Toxic, It shouldn’t Be In Our Tap Water, All Our Drinks, All Our Food, Shower In It. Children Given Their Baby formula In Toxic fluoridated Water. Its A Slow Degeneration Of Every Life, Its A Slow Genocide… aluminum, Dementia, Gum Disease, Bone Disease, Many Major Heath Issues. Those Who Seek To Add Fluoride In The Water Should Be Held Accountable, Will Be Held accountable. Its As Good As terrorism From Within, Slowly poisoning Every Man Woman And Child Under False information, Without independent Research. Its Murder Through Approved Process, Shame On The governments, Councils And All Forcing This Toxic Process Into Every Tap

  8. Flouride is banned in nearly all of Europe as a toxic substance.
    Its undiluted form burns through concrete and we place it in our bodies.

    More importantly, we don’t have a choice in the matter. Its forced medication of a populace and thats simply unacceptable

  9. On top of this, there is already a huge body of research done all over the world that proves fluoride is horrible for your health, including your brain, and at best, innefective for oral hygiene. Ironically, it causes an irreversible tooth condition called dental fluorosis.

  10. What extreme exigency would require Australian authorities to inflict injury on its citizens and violate the fundamental human rights that underpin our society?

    Tooth decay? How is that sufficient cause when regular tooth brushing is clearly more effective, more ethical, safer and less costly? Citizens are entrusted with responsibility for diet, exercise and every other health practice. Why would a dental treatment be imposed on everyone? Because it’s possible to do it?

  11. The reason that ethical public health practice requires individual consent is because medical science can never guarantee that any treatment or procedure will not harm anyone, whether or not specific harm has been identified. No treatment can be imposed on anyone without their informed consent.

    In the case of fluoridation, the instigators announced from the outset that it would cause some degree of dental fluorosis, an adverse effect recognized by them and everyone else. The claim of fluoridators is that dental fluorosis is acceptable injury.

  12. Fluoridation adherents are labouring under the spell of a non sequitur. The question of fluoridation benefit is irrelevant. This is not statist, authoritrain North Korea or Iran or Saudi Arabia.

    The 2005 UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights spells it out unmistakably:

    “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be express and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.” Article 6 — Consent

  13. Research officially ordered by the US government (NTP, 1990) found links to bone cancer and liver cancer. This should have triggered a new regulation which would have ended fluoridation, but US EPA administrators refused to promulgate that regulation.… (a six minute documentary)

    Also obviating fluoridation: In 1999 the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced a new scientific consensus that “fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children.” The National Research Council of the US National Academies of Science concurred, stating in 2006 that “the major anticaries benefit of fluoride is topical and not systemic.”

    Toothpaste or mouthwash are obviously more effective ways of getting fluoride to tooth surfaces when that treatment is considered desirable.

  14. Fluoride is being found to be a neurotoxin and causes brain damage and various other long term health issues, it is time for fluoride to be removed permanantly from our drinking water. I am very unhappy about it being added as I read more and more articles on the dangers of water fluoridation and its destructive effect on the human body.

  15. Why force mass medication of a KNOWN and DOCUMENTED nurotoxin on the populos? Australians are entitled to CLEAN water. Let the individuals choose what medication they take. Forcing toxins on people is criminal. And there is NO proven documented evidence that flouride actually improves tooth health.

  16. Flouride is a toxic byproduct and in this current day and age there is no moral grounds to mass medicate the whole population through the disposal of waste for the fertilizer companies. Not to mention any other disturbing reason why the government would like to mass poison the country, when all the long term hazardous effects are well know but ignored. Why is it that when at least 93% of the world drinks unflourinated water and countries that did fluoridate have since long ceased the practice, a well developed country like Australia continues to poision it’s people to follow in the footsteps of the “of so great USA”. Disgusting.

  17. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I have yet to see a convincing argument that ingesting fluoride is proven to be beneficial for anyone’s dental health, and my teeth were marked as a youth due to fluorosis. I have however seen a multitude of reports that suggests thst fluoridation of public water supplies is akin to mass poisoning!!

    I have looked at government health department websites and the argument for fluoridation is basically “we know best” – but in fact the government does not know at all!

    Some questions that need answering:

    Why do toothpaste companies warn you not to ingest fluoride?
    How can a government department possibly know how much water (and therefore fluoride) each individual is consiming?

    If fluoride does provide some benefit (and not even the United Nations will state thfat it does) why would we wash our dishes and motorcars with it?

    Being forced to ingest a compound derived from waste products is criminal and I hope that every individual that has ever been responsible for this practice in Australia is held personally accountable.

    Stop poisoning me please!!!!

    Andrew Ellis

  18. Why so many comments? Usually no-one posts any comments on Government News! This issue has really fired up the subscribers. I suspect an anti-fluoridation website has found this article, and is directing its readers to make comments.

    I sometimes think we should stop adding fluoride to our drinking water. However, I’ve just spent $5,500 on dental treatment. As I left the surgery, the dentist asked me to spend another $5,500. If fluoride prevents anyone else having such expensive treatment, then it’s worth it.

    1. Do you live in a fluoridated area, Steven? If so, it clearly isn’t working.

      In any case, if you do the research with an open mind you’ll find fluoridation is neither safe, nor effective – but this information is ignored by our government and ‘authorities’ like this stacked NHMRC fluoridation review panel. The CEO has already pre-empted they will continue to recommend fluoridation before the review is even completed.

      There are two new studies just released – one showing fluoridation is associated with increased hypothyroid disease; the other showing it is associated with ADHD. You can bet the review panel will ignore both of these studies.

    2. It comes down to choice, Steven. I you believe the whole oral health BS then YOU buy fluoride and YOU add it to your OWN water! Because I don’t want it in mine!

  19. There’s evidence to suggest that fluoride actually damages teeth. (dental fluorosis) But the curx of the matter is this. whichever side of the belief fence you sit on, this hightly toxic industrial waste is added to our water supply without choice or permission and that HAS TO STOP!

  20. From all the comments there is only one pro fluoridation.
    Water fluoridation has been forced upon us by vested interests for far too long.
    Thankfully the internet has come along so we now see the majorities true opinion and not just the opinion of the minority which has been fed to use because they control the media.

  21. There are no toxicological, clinical trials, epidemiological, ecological, studies ever done in Australia on Australians involving fluorides from all sources, and the reliance on the US standard 60 certification , or the American water works studies on fluoridation products will discover it has yet to be done there on the two main fluoridation products used here.
    The US National toxicological program was issued with a registration for such studies in year 2000, and so far no results on this, in the mean time the number of peer reviewed studies being released every year now has raised eyebrows in government circles.
    Our NHMRC does “reviews” only which means they read research from elsewhere, and choose what ever seems to agree with them, like “its safe” but this is a poor excuse for scientific studies not included in their 2016 recent statements of “safe”. Even the larger contracted UK group (Cochran Collaboration) to the NHMRC till 2020, told them it is “not safe”, at least twice now.

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