Skip to main content


Volume 958: debated on Thursday 16 November 1978

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why, in view of previous assurances that the fluoridation of drinking water supplies is harmless, his Department's chief pharmacist has issued guidance to chemists warning them to limit or even not to dispense artificial fluorides for human consumption in areas where fluorides are present or are added to water; and what research has been carried out as to other sources, besides drinking water, from which people may obtain an excess of fluoride intake.

One part per million of fluoride in drinking water in temperate climate areas is the optimum for protecting the teeth against dental decay. The purpose of the letter is to ensure that for dental reasons, namely, the mottling of the teeth, of which there are several causes, the optimum is not exceeded by the unnecessary consumption of fluoride tablets. There is evidence from published papers that mottling from any cause is least when the fluoride content of water supplies is one part per million.