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Water Fluoridation

Volume 684: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether their further programme of research into water fluoridation, following the recommendations of the National Health Service Centre for Reviews and Dissemination in 2000 and the Medical Research Council in 2002, was suspended pending the outcome of the review by the National Research Council of the United States National Academy of Sciences into the toxicological, epidemiological and clinical evidence on fluoride; and [HL7083]

What is their policy for research into water fluoridation following the report in March 2006 by the United States National Research Council, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards, which highlighted possible adverse effects on health in finding the current maximum contaminant level to be too high.[HL7084]

The Department of Health wanted to consider the findings of this major American research project before commissioning further research. The report's main recommendation, that the Environmental Protection Agency's recommended maximum fluoride concentration for drinking water of 4 milligrams per litre should be lowered, is not directly relevant to the United Kingdom where, under the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000, concentrations must not exceed 1.5 milligrams per litre. We will, however, be taking the National Research Council's other recommendations into account in the development of our own research programme.