The fluoride plant at Corndale. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star
The fluoride plant at Corndale. Photo Cathy Adams / The Northern Star Cathy Adams

Fluoridation gets support from health body

THE National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released its latest advice on community water fluoridation.

NHMRC said it continues to support Australian state and territories fluoridating their water supplies within the range of 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L, "given fluoride's role in reducing tooth decay".

The council said tooth decay was one of the most common health issues in Australia, affecting five out of 10 children and nine out of ten adults, causing "pain, difficulty eating and sleeping as well as costly dental treatments".

"Current NHMRC advice strongly recommends community fluoridation as a safe, effective and ethical way to help reduce tooth decay. This advice reflects a thorough search and analysis of over 20 years of research, and consultation with the Australian public," the council said.

"Community fluoridation was a public health initiative which benefits all Australians. NHMRC found that fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26 to 44 per cent in children and teenagers and by 27 per cent in adults.

"NHMRC found no reliable evidence that community water fluoridation at current Australian levels causes health problems.

"Community water fluoridation has been approved by major health organisations in Australia and internationally, including the Australian Medical Association, Australian Dental Association, World Health Organization and the International Association for Dental Research."