Fluoride in the UK water supply

A high percentage of our residential customers come from the USA where water coolers are significantly more commonplace in the home. One of the reasons for this is that the US water supply contains fluoride and many people don’t like to drink this mass medication through the mains water. This is certainly one of the important reasons why a water cooler and a spring water supply have become an important part of home life and we believe that people in the UK should also understand the debate.

The debate about the usage of fluoride in the general water supply dates back to the 19th century. Fluoride’s dental-health benefits were recognised by the British physician James Crichton-Browne, who in an address noted that fluoride’s absence from diets had resulted in teeth that were “peculiarly liable to decay”, and who proposed “the reintroduction into our diet … of fluorine in some suitable natural form … to fortify the teeth of the next generation”.

Fluoride in the mains water supply is used by governments across the world to medicate against chronic disease and tooth decay. It is one of the few forms of mass medication in developed society. Dental cavities remain a major public health concern in most industrialized countries, affecting 60–90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults. Water fluoridation prevents cavities in both children and adults,with studies in the US estimating an 18–40% reduction in cavities when water fluoridation is used by children who already had access to toothpaste and other sources of fluoride.

In the UK the recent debate about using fluoride in the water supply started back in 2003 – as covered by the BBC website – when a governmental the Water Bill was  going through Parliament which pressed for fluoride to be added to the UK water supply. Since 2003 certain water authorities have already implemented the usage of fluoride – but considerably more have rejected the addition of fluoride and in many of these case this has been due to public outcry.

In the United Kingdom the Green Party refers to fluoride as a poison, claim that water fluoridation violates Article 35 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights. We understand this position and note that fluoride is defined as a poison under the 1972 Poisons Act, in the same group of toxins as arsenic and mercury.

We recommend that people concerned about whether their water has fluoride in it should contact their local water authority or supplier to confirm.

Further Reading

A very useful source for information on current fluoride developments is National Pure Water Association – An independent non-profit organisation which campaigns for safe, non-fluoridated water. The Association was founded in 1960 by the late Lord Douglas of Barloch (right).

They oppose fluoridation because it forces a medical intervention on an entire population, regardless of individual choice. This contravenes generally accepted principles of medical ethics and violates the EU Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine.

Other Useful links for the UK

All Party Parliamentary Group Against Fluoridation – www.appgaf.org.uk
National Register of Children with Dental Fluorosis – 01159 652948
Save Our Water, Isle of Man – saveourwater.tripod.com
UK Councils Against Fluoridation – www.ukcaf.org
Wikipedia articles are really useful – opposition against fluoride article,

Useful International Links

Fluoride Action Network – www.fluoridealert.org
International Society for Fluoride Research – www.fluorideresearch.org
Fluoride and Fluorosis, India – www.fluorideandfluorosis.com
VOICE – Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment – www.voiceireland.org
New York State Coalition Against Fluoridation – www.orgsites.com/ny/nyscof
Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children – www.poisonfluoride.com/pfpc/index.html

Rob Laughton

Rob Laughton

Rob Laughton is an established part of the UK water industry and has business interests in drinking water products. He is actively involved in the self-regulatory associations which work to keep strict standards within the UK water industry.

His related water businesses are listed on www.drinkingwaters.co.uk and include The Water Delivery Company - Londons' largest independent bottled water cooler supplier.

2 Responses to Fluoride in the UK water supply

  1. Zara Zara says:

    I would have preferred to read a balanced argument.
    I recently read that fluoride occurs naturally in some areas. I think describing it as a medication is a scare mongering tactic. I believe this makes the article less credible.
    Fluoridation has been a great benefit to children from low socio-economic backgrounds and has reduced the necessity for extractions and other dental treatment. Twenty years ago I worked as a dental health professional so can speak first hand at the discomfort some children experience. Dental health is preventable but until we have equal equitable resources the lower socio-economic groups will continue to suffer.
    It’s about the good for everyone not just about individuals. We all need to be socially responsible.
    I can understand that certain individuals feel this violates free choice and I would prefer fluoride free water personally, but if it saves the NHS thousands in avoidable treatment costs and under privileged children avoid the pain and suffering that poor oral health brings, it’s worth it!

  2. neil newman neil newman says:

    We all have been unlawfully lied to buy the government for years about the good that fluoride is of any benefit to our dental health! Fluoride is a very toxic and corrosive substance what is totally unsafe at any level. It’s just a corrupt way of disposing of toxic waste from the phosphate industry, which governments get back handers for doing so!!!

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