Over 60 Years of Science Supports Community Water Fluoridation Tuesday, 4 February 2014

ARPHS Media Release

Community water fluoridation meets a public health need in our communities and addresses health inequalities. It is no surprise that it is acknowledged by the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th Century.

 The Auckland Regional Public Health Service, alongside the Auckland Regional Dental Health Service and the Ministry of Health, continues to support community water fluoridation as a safe, effective and affordable public health measure that improves and protects oral health. 

 Community water fluoridation has undergone over 60 years of scientific studies and systematic reviews internationally by experts, and despite the persistent claims about the dangers and health effects of community water fluoridation in New Zealand, science has yet to find any evidence of those claims.

 The Auckland Regional Public Health Service is very clear that the science is not in dispute, although others have attempted to debate it as though it is.

 As New Zealand's pre-eminent scientist Professor Sir Peter Gluckman has said publicly on community water fluoridation, the science is being used as proxy for what is essentially a debate about values.

 As public health and science experts, our responsibility must rest with the common good, given our ethical responsibility to ensure that everyone in our communities has access to beneficial public health interventions. 

 Community Water Fluoridation helps address those health disparities facing our most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged communities.  It is the fairest way for everyone, regardless of income, area, age or health status to receive fluoride's proven health benefits. 

 There are challenges whenever complex scientific information is being communicated. Expertise in epidemiological research and interpretation of published literature is required. This is why systematic reviews of reputable studies are so valuable.

 Tooth decay is a serious health condition, is very painful, and causes unnecessary suffering for children, adults and the elderly from all walks of life, cultures and socio-economic areas. That is what makes universal access to community fluoridated water so important.

ENDS

For public enquiries, including after hours, contact:

Auckland Regional Public Health Service - (09) 623 4600

For more information:

ARPHS website on community water fluoridation http://www.arphs.govt.nz/health-information/promoting-health-wellbeing/water-fluoridation