Concern over fluoride levels

A change in water fluoridation policy in the United States has a Tauranga resident worried the fluoride levels in some Bay of Plenty areas are too high.

In an attempt to reduce the risk of mild fluorosis, the fluoride level in US water was recently reduced from an optimum range between 0.7 and 1.2 parts per million to a single level of 0.7.

Ken Evans wants Bay of Plenty District Health Board to share the statistics he sourced on Bay children's dental records. Photo by Bruce Barnard.

Tauranga man Ken Evans, who led a petition in 1992 to remove fluoride from Tauranga's water, says the Bay of Plenty District Health Board that the region should follow suit.

Currently, Whakatane and Ohope are the only areas in the Bay with fluoridated water.

Fluoride was removed from Tauranga's water following a referendum in October 1992, where 51.88 per cent of residents voted against fluoridation.

Ken sourced statistics, through an Official Information Act request, which show more children in the Bay's non-fluoridated water areas had perfect teeth at five years old, than those in fluoridated areas in eight of the last 10 years.

He believes this is evidence that fluoridation is unnecessary and he's calling for the BOPDHB to act accordingly.

'I feel this information should be public, and I feel the DHB is obligated to do that,” says Ken.

'The city wanted a referendum, and the anti-fluoride vote won every ward in the city, so it was a resounding victory to not have fluoridation.

'Twenty years later I've revisited, because I can see the fluoride issue is starting to raise its head again. It's clear to people, that they can see on average, its better not to have fluoride.

'There is a very wide body of evidence on the benefits and safety of drinking water with fluoridation. The DHB strongly supports drinking water with fluoride because of the benefits it has for oral health, not only for children but anyone.”

He says it's important for residents in Whakatane and Ohope to know this information.

Medical officer of health, Dr Neil de Wet says the BOPDHB is happy with the fluoride levels in Whakatane and Ohope – and hopes to see fluoride re-added to Tauranga's water.

'I think we and our children are all missing out on its essential valuable benefits.”

He says the DHB constantly reviews its fluoride policies and is aware of the changes in the US, but says they are not concerned.

'There is a very wide body of evidence on the benefits and safety of drinking water with fluoridation. The DHB strongly supports drinking water with fluoride because of the benefits it has for oral health, not only for children but anyone.

'From a DHB point of view we'll keep on promoting it.”

The BOPDHB and Toi Te Ora Public Health Service's water fluoridation position statement says there is potential to fluoridate the drinking water supplies for more than 80 per cent of the population in the Bay of Plenty.

'The BOPDHB's community dental service sees approximately 35,000 children every year, who are aged from birth to 12-years-old.

'The service monitors the oral health of these children and provides separate data for those children living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

It says national data shows children living in areas with community water fluoridation have better oral health than those in un-fluoridated areas.

'There is no international or New Zealand evidence that demonstrates any significant harm from the addition of fluoride to drinking water supplies in a controlled way.

'The only health effect that has been demonstrated in optimally fluoridated areas is increased levels of very mild or mild dental fluorosis.”


TGA DHB is in fairy land

Posted on 23-05-2013 11:36 | By YOGI BEAR

fluoridation has known and significant efffects on the teeth and development of childrens dentals, it is almost like the authorities want sub standard teeth in children so as to ensure work and a purpose for this division for a few years while the lives of kids are placed at risk?


Posted on 23-05-2013 14:50 | By socantor

People's teeth today are far better than when I went to school in the 1950's. Every school had a dental clinic, now few do. My father said that during the war, at overseas battle theatres, Kiwi soldiers were notable for two facts: most of them had both a gold watch and false teeth. TCC obviously wants a return to those days.


Posted on 23-05-2013 16:47 | By bryrose

Why should everyone, whether we like it or not, have to drink fluorinated water. The more you drink, the more fluoride you have in your system. There are other known side effects, eg bone density. Rather let children be given small amounts, they are the ones that need it.


Posted on 23-05-2013 16:53 | By grasser

My mum says ken evans doesnt know what he's talking about and she's gonna kick his ***.


Posted on 23-05-2013 23:04 | By gr3g0s

My ex wife had thyroid problems when we lived in Ohope for a few months, when we left the area her thyroid came right, so I belive this is a dangerous chemical that we shouln't be force medicating anyone with at any level. There is now a health warning not to use flouridated water for infant formula, It can also be lethal to your pets. Flouride has only been shown to be beneficial when directly applied to teeth surfaces and the introduction of fluoridated toothpaste certainly explains the improved dental health since the 50's. It would only be a complete moron who would poison the entire population in the hope that some fluoride will wash over some kids teeth that really just needs a bit of self respect and a toothbrush and flouridated toothpaste.


Posted on 23-05-2013 23:15 | By Capt_Kaveman

are poisons Fluoride gone yet Chlorine remains we need to remove this as well

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