Last week, the Ontario Dental Hygienists’ Association (ODHA), Canadian Dental Association, and Health Canada spoke out in favour of water fluoridation.
The use of fluoride, a natural substance present in most food and water, plays an important role in prevention of tooth decay and gum disease, according to the ODHA, which represents close to 6,000 members in the province.
The call follows the release of a report in April from a panel of experts who recommended lowering fluoride levels in drinking water to limit exposure in children and infants.
ODHA supports water fluoridation as the best way to provide fluoride protection to a large number of people at low cost, eliminating the barriers of individual income or access to routine dental care.
“Where fluoride has been added to municipal water supplies, there has been a marked decline in tooth decay rates. Fluoride is proven to be a safe, effective and economical way of preventing and even reversing the stages of tooth decay,” said ODHA Executive Director Margaret Carter, facts that are documented in research studies and reports from Health Canada, the Canadian Public Health Association, the World Health Organization as well as several Canadian and American dental organizations.
Over 2,660 professionals urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement:http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html.
Also, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people.