Byline: Madeleine Brindley
FLUORIDATED water could pose a significant health risk to babies, campaigners warn today as the debate about the future of the nation's drinking water intensifies.
Organisations opposed to the compulsory fluoridation of drinking water believe more should be done to prevent children eating too much sugar instead of forcing medication on an unwilling nation.
And they claim the fluoride to be added to drinking water is toxic industrial waste which poses a significant health risk.
The comments come as the Green Party today publishes its Truth Decay report outlining the arguments against fluoridation in advance of the Parliamentary vote on the Water Bill scheduled for September 8.
An amendment to the Bill would shift responsibility for decisions about adding fluoride to drinking water supplies from water companies to the health service.
Campaigners claim this amounts to the forcing of 'unproven' medication on the nation, in contravention of basic human rights.
Fluoridated water is regarded by many as the most effective measure to prevent tooth decay in children and the dental and medical profession believe such a step will improve the oral health of Wales, particularly in areas of deprivation or where access to NHS dentists is poor.
Dr Richard Lewis, Welsh secretary of the British Medical Association, said, 'Every month of delay sees the inequalities in dental health widening.'
And Stuart Geddes, Welsh secretary of the British Dental Association, added, 'It is the most effective way of delivering what is a proven public health measure. We are already in an environment where things are added to our food to benefit our health - vitamin D is added to margarine and iodine to salt.'
But the Green Party has hit back at the pro-fluoridation arguments it dubs New Labour propaganda.
In its report the party claims the fluoride to be added to drinking water is hexafluorosilicic acid - a 'toxic and corrosive industrial waste by-product derived from the scrubbings of the factory chimneys of the super-phosphate fertiliser industry.
'Fluorides are medically categorised as protoplasmic poisons which is why they are used in commercial rat poisons,' it adds. …