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PurplePippa posting a Christina Hespe report | 07.09.2003 01:53 | Ecology | Health | London | Sheffield

On Monday, Parliament will vote on the Water Bill. Take action now to prevent fluoridation of our water supplies.



On Monday 8th September Parliament will vote on the Water Bill. If it is passed, hexafluorosilicic acid, a Part II Poison under the UK Poisons Act 1972, a waste product of the fertiliser industry, could be introduced on a widescale into our water supply by Christmas (10% of the population are already drinking fluoridated water). The addition of this hazardous chemical to our water amounts to nothing less than mass medication. The 'medicine' is given indiscriminately and without consent. The dose is uncontrolled and given for a lifetime. As such fluoridation is in violation of human rights legislation and it defies medical ethics. And there is not even conclusive evidence that fluoridation improves dental health in children. It certainly does nothing positive for people over the age of 12, that is the majority of those who will consume it, and indeed has been linked to many serious medical conditions. But that is not stopping Tony Blair, who is determined to go ahead with fluoridation. Is this another case of Blair 'knowing he is right' even in the face of an overwhelming lack of credible evidence? If we act now, we can stop hexaflourosilicic acid being added to our water supply. Please read on, take action and forward this email to as many people as possible.

The next step, if the Bill is passed, will be for Local Health Authorities to carry out a three month public consultation. If this is anything like the GM consultation process, don't expect to be part of the public! Assuming that the Health Authorities recommend fluoridation, they will instruct the water suppliers to add it to the entire water supply in their region. The water suppliers are concerned about the possibilty of legal suits and have asked the Government for an indemnity clause in any new legislation. The Government has agreed to grant this. This contract between the Government and the water suppliers is in fact illegal since contracts that relate to illegal activities (and adding a poison to the water supply is illegal under the Poisons Act 1972) are deemed illegal.

Flouridation is the 'quick fix' 'hands off' solution to tooth decay, which will cost the Government nothing and result in profits for the industry ridding itself of a crude hazardous waste product. Dealing with the social deprivation that is strongly linked with tooth decay and improving dental health education would be expensive and 'hands on'. The Government would prefer to pass the responsibilty for a public health matter over to private industry than deal with it itself. With fluoridation tooth decay is privatised. The success of fluoridation is of little consequence and the long term implications for the public are irrelevant so long as the Government is seen to be doing something about the problem whilst the books balance because the buck has been passed. And bizarrely, being seen to address tooth decay may actually make New Labour appear to be addressing social deprivation since they are linked.

Fluoridation has nothing to do with children's teeth. It is about the Government shirking its responsibility, once again, and business making a profit out of waste - at your expence.

What you can do to stop fluoridation of the water supply
1.Fax your MP now. You can do this by going to You can cut and paste the list below of reasons not to fluoridate and pre-empt them with "I am opposed to fluoridation because......". Or write your own text, perhaps referring to the information below.
2.Call your MP on Monday at The House of Commons. The switchboard number is 0207 193 000 . Ask to be put through to your MP. NB: Call as early as possible, but the vote will take place in the late evening (the debate is scheduled to go on til 10pm) so it's worth calling at any time during the day.
3. If the Bill is passed, contact your Local Health Authority/Primary Care Trust, your water supplier, your council. NB: Many councils are opposed to fluoridation. Local Health Authorities are usually in favour of preventative health measures and are strongly influenced by central Government dictat but Primary Care Trusts were set up to be responsible for and responsive to local populations and lay representatives sit on them so they should be more approachable and empathetic. The water suppliers are very nervous about this legislation - apart from the fact that adding fluoride to the water supply is a criminal offence and is in violation of human rights legislation, it will not make them very popular with their customers! All this means there is reason to believe campaigning will be worthwhile.
4. FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN !!! Continue to do so if the Bill is passed. Print it out and put it on noticeboards at work, give a copy to friends, etc. This is a public health matter. The public ought to know about it!

Ten good reasons not to fluoridate the water supply
1. There is no conclusive evidence that fluoridation actually works as a
tooth decay preventative measure. The US Centre for Disease Control recently
confirmed that fluoride only improves dental health when applied directly to children's teeth ( ). The York Review in October 2000, paid for by a government hoping to "prove once and for all that fluoridation is safe and effective" (Frank Dobson, Health Secretary at the time) and carried out by the NHS, found little evidence to show that fluoridation reduced dental inequalities ( Reports : "Truth Decay").The National Pure Water Association ( ) has repeatedly asked the Department of Health to cite one scientific or laboratory study that proves fluoridation reduces tooth decay in humans. It has failed to do so!
2. There is no conclusive evidence that fluoride is safe for consumption. The chair of the York Review, Professor Sheldon, stated that "the review did not show water fluoridation to be safe". Indeed, according to UNICEF, "it has long been known that excessive fluoride intake carries serious toxic effects", it having been linked to bone cancer, brittle bones, arthritis, eczema, cot death, Alzheimer's, and hyperthyroidism, which leads to fatigue, depression and heart disease. Even the company that makes Colgate, Proctor and Gamble, admitted in 1984 that a small tube of their toothpaste "theoretically, at least, contains enought fluoride to kill a small child" ( ).
3. Fluoride is toxic to infants and should not be used to make baby milk. This leaves mothers, even those who are socially deprived, having to use bottled water for their baby milk. Indeed, Elliot Morley, Environmental Minister, and Hazel Brears, Health Minister, have recommended that those opposed to flouridation would be able to use bottled water or fit reverse osmosis water filters. For many people these are not viable options financially (and why should any of us have to do this anyway?) and the first has obvious implications regarding the plastic waste generated.
4. A third of American children living in fluoridated areas have white specks or, in more serious cases, dark stripes on the teeth . This fluorosis is a sign of fluoride over-dose ( ). With more severe forms of fluorosis cavities increase because of pitting and loss of tooth enamel.
5. Hexafluorosilicic acid, the type of fluoride to be added to the water
system, is in fact an industrial waste product derived from pollution
scrubber liquor from factory chimneys in the phosphate fertiliser industry. It is not a pure compound but is tainted with arsenic and cancer causing heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury ( "The Dentist's Tale"). Under the Poisons Act 1972 it is classified as a poison. It is cumulative - we only excrete 50% of what we ingest, and the rest stays in our body. The long term effects may not yet be realised. Warnings from the World Health Organisation in 1953 and 1994 that total fluoride levels in people should be determined before any more is added, via the water system for example, have been ignored. It would be added to the tap water at a 'safe level', 20 times the permitted level of lead, which is less toxic than flouride.
6. Fluoridation amounts to mass medication, which defies medical ethics. The
flouride is given indiscriminately, with neither informed consent nor normal
medical licensing procedures. It is uncontrolled and given for a lifetime.
( "Stopping the rot"). As such, fluoridation
violates the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Charter on Fundamental Rights
( )
7. Fluorosilicates are classified as Part II Poisons under the Poisons Act 1972 and have no medical use. Their addition to the water supply therefore constitutes a criminal action ( ).
8. The hexafluorosilicic acid that goes down the drain with the water would contaminate our environment. The dumping of so much toxic waste would cause serious damage to plant and aquatic life and threaten the organic food industry.
9. Fluoridation does not address the real cause of tooth decay - poor dental
hygene and excessive sugar consumption. Clearly, the best way to prevent
tooth decay is to educate people to take better care of their teeth and
consume less sugar. Not surprisingly, both Tate and Lyle and the Sugar
Bureau support fluoridation. "The use of flouride in either toothpaste or
drinking water is the single most effective method of reducing tooth decay"
( 'Sugar and You').
10. There is widespread opposition to fluoridation. Only five countries in the world now fluoridate to any extent. Ireland has the dubious distinction of being the most fluoridated country in Europe, but campaigners are attempting to change that ( ). Most European governments oppose fluoridation. France has never practised it. West Germany, Sweden, Holland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, USSR and Finland have all tried and abandoned fluoridation. In May 2003 Switzerland became the latest European country to totally stop fluoridating its water after three decades of doing so. In Holland it is prohibited by law after doctors discovered the associated health risks. In Belgium the sale of fluoride tablets and gum is banned because of the fear that it may cause brittle bones.


This email was produced by Christina Hespe of Sheffield Green Party . The bulk of the information it contains was taken from the Green Party's Report "Truth Decay", which can be found at . All other sources are named in the text. Thanks to The Ecologist magazine for so promptly supplying a link to Zac Goldsmith's article "Hard to Swallow".

PurplePippa posting a Christina Hespe report


Hide the following 2 comments

Phone number

07.09.2003 02:22

There was a typo in the original posting.

The actual phone number for the House of Commons is 0207 219 3000.

Pippa again


17.10.2003 18:50

Your leading article on fluoiridation is excellent.
Please could you post the result of the vote so it is upto date.
Should I be contacting my local health authority?
If it is a three month consultation from the vote then it is half
way through already!

ian fryer
mail e-mail: