Fluoride options outlined

Ratepayers could be asked to pick up a six-figure bill if the Dunedin City Council opts to provide an alternative, non-fluoridated water supply for those wanting to avoid the chemical.

Options for offering alternative, non-fluoridated drinking water would be considered by councillors at this week's annual plan budget meeting, beginning on Thursday.

A council staff report to the meeting outlined three options for providing the service, ranging from encouraging people to buy filters for their homes, to more expensive filtered public tap supplies at locations around the city.

Encouraging ''point of use'' filters would allow those wanting to avoid fluoridated water to do so, by buying under-bench filters for their homes, the report by council water and waste services asset strategy team leader Tom Dyer said.

The filters cost between $100 and $400 each, and claimed to effectively remove between 90%-100% of fluoride, as well as other impurities, he said.

The council could also consider offering a subsidy as part of efforts to promote their use, he said.

The second option would be to invest in one or more public water taps, filtered to remove fluoride as the ''Speight's tap'' already was, at locations around the city, he said.

However, ''appropriate'' traffic management, access and parking arrangements would be needed, meaning each site could cost the council $15,000-$25,000 to establish and about $7500 a year to operate, he said.

The council would also need to give ''careful consideration'' to the level of serve required across the city, he said.

An even spread of public taps - for example allowing each property in the city to be within 10km of a tap - would require about six taps to be installed, he said.

That would mean a total capital cost of up to $150,000, and annual operating costs of $45,000, for the council, he said.

The third option was to install alternative, non-fluoridated taps at the Mt Grand and Southern water treatment plants, by diverting some of the flow through the plants before fluoride was added.

That, too, would come at a cost, estimated to be $40,000-$50,000 per site and annual operating costs of $6500 per site, he said.

Council staff have been considering the issue since last year's annual plan meetings, when councillors voted to ask staff to investigate options for a non-fluoridated drinking water supply.

That move came after the council received 34 public submissions on fluoride - more than any other subject - with most concerned the chemical was being added to drinking water for oral health benefits.


Thread closed

This thread is now closed. - Ed.

Why don't . . .

. . . the people who don't want fluoride purchase their own water tanks, so they can collect rain water and disconnect themselves from the DCC supply?

That way they can have awful dental hygenie without bullying the rest of us with their nonsensical claims and such.




Yes of course all water attracts impurities, rain water attracts fluoride from the air and mineral/chemical  particles - the reason water is different is due to the different minerals it gets from the ground. And even water will cause damage if the dosage is big enough.

Vote for evidence based action

mesofauna laments that fluoride causes bone embrittlement and cites skeletal fluorosis. What mesofauna neglects to mention is that the levels of fluoride required in water to cause these effects is three to ten times the recommended dosage for water supplies and caries prevention.

mesofauna informs us that hydrofluorosillicic acid does not occur naturally, the opposite, however, is true. Fluorosillicates have been observed to occur naturally in the environment. Mesofauna also appears to suggest that fluosilicic acid is somehow different from naturally occuring fluorides in groundwater. It isn't, when fluosilicic acid comes into contact with water it hydrolyzes to produce silica, fluoride ions and hydrogen ions. The silica is filtered out and the fluoride ions are no different to the fluoride ions from calcium fluoride.


Way to go! Maybe those of us that feel violated by this should take legal action against the council for that breach. Even if they provided fluoride-free water taps like Speight's, we would still be forced to bathe in it.

Some common sense, Please

Oh yes, let's do it. Let's spend thousands of dollars, so some people can keep drinking fluoridated water, while the rest of us line up at some alternative taps. This is the sort of daft mentality we have come to expect these days.

Those who want it, need only be given free fluoride tablets. They have no right to force their opinion on the rest of the population. Some of us can actually think for ourselves, and are very aware this stuff is no good for us.



Vote for clean water

half, the information you are pushing here is absolutely absurd.

Firstly, fluoride is NOT a nutrient, and the body has no need whatsoever for it. It is not needed for strong bones and teeth, (where did you get this information?!) in fact quite the opposite, it causes the bones to become weak and brittle (see skeletal fluorosis).

You try and defend fluoridation by saying it occurs naturally in ground water yet you seem to misunderstand that it is not naturally occuring fluoride that is added to the water, but hydrofluorosillicic acid, which is anything but naturally occuring. It is an industrial waste product caught by the pollution scrubbers of the phosphate fertiliser industry. When its being transported, it has to be labelled as poison. It is a highly corrosive neurotoxin, and yet you are trying to persuade people it's good for them. The information you are writing here seems very dodgy and misinformed.

Regardless, the issue of fluoridation actually has nothing to do with preventing cavities or health concerns, it is an issue of mass medication without consent.

To quote you, you said "Medical ethics", "informed consent", "Nuremberg Code", etc, etc, is all irrelevant nonsense. Fluoride at the optimal level is not a drug, and it is not "forced" upon anyone. Fluoride is a mineral which the FDA must classify as a drug for the sole reason of its stated use in water as a therapeutic rather than as a disinfectant.

I am flabbergasted by this comment. Informed consent and our right to refuse medication is a right given to all New Zealanders by the NZ Bill of Rights, which the DCC is currently in breach of. I don't consent to taking fluoride yet I cant realistically avoid it.

To provide an alternative non fluoridated tap would be wasteful and ineffecient - by fluoridating the town supply the DCC would still be in breach of the bill of rights. The only way to abide by the law would be to stop adding it to the water. It is after all, mass medication without consent.







Backward "poisoned" countries

"Evidence shows that the prevalence of tooth decay is substantially lower in communities with water fluoridation." Yes, half. And how was this effectiveness discovered? By observing that people who lived in areas where the water contained naturally-occurring fluoride had better teeth and far fewer cavities than people who lived where there is no fluoride in the water.

Even without dairying, water is not "pure". Even raindrops collect minute amounts of whatever particles are in their air while it falls out of the sky. Rivers and aquifers dissolve substances out of rocks and soil. As an example, why is water "hard" or "soft"? Clue - it's because of those dreadful threats to humanity, "chemicals". And if you took any one of those substances and swallowed a couple of kilos of it you'd die, or gain weight, or come out in spots or something equally dire.

Backward countries?

A few backward countries - wow the USA wont like you calling them backward, and they are increasing fluoride use.

CDC has released the latest statistics on community water fluoridation for the nation on its website.

The latest data show that in 2012, 74.6% of the U.S. population on community water systems, or a total of 210.7 million people, had access to optimally fluoridated water. This is significant progress from the Healthy People 2020 baseline of 72.4% (2008) towards the target of 79.6%. Since 2008, an additional 15 million people have received the benefit of fluoridated water. Evidence shows that the prevalence of tooth decay is substantially lower in communities with water fluoridation.

For more information on water fluoridation, visit the CDC website.

And NZ has over 50% of the people getting fluoride.

Not safe and not effective

People don't realise that after 68 years not one randomised control trial (the gold standard) has ever been conducted to demonstrate fluoride is both safe and effective. I know things move slowly but don't you think 68 years is a long time? They always say it's too difficult to conduct. Rubbish - they put a man on the moon for goodness sake. The claim "safe and effective" is therfore fraudulent. Democracy is not somebody else deciding for you, what you ingest. Low income families can't afford to avoid fluoridated water. To avoid fluoridqated water you need to have money, never eat out, never travel and never bath. Only a few backward countries and 22 out of 67 councils in NZ are still fluoridating. Time to move into the future and put this archaic, unethical and dangerous practice behind us.

That sounds good in theory

That sounds good in theory, but as usual with these sort of ideas the people who need it most are the ones who have not got the income or incentive to go and buy the tablets/toothpaste. I can't see the govt stepping in to help when CFW is cheap and effective in comparision to dental care costs

Safe and effective. For more than 68 years, the best available scientific evidence consistently indicates that community water fluoridation is safe and effective.

Saves money. The average lifetime cost per person to fluoridate a water supply is less than the cost of one dental filling. For most cities, every $1 invested in water fluoridation saves $38 in dental treatment costs.

Griffin S.O., Jones, K., Tomar, S.L. "An Economic Evaluation of Community Water Fluoridation." J Public Health Dent 2001;61(2):78-86.

And if the people decided to add fluoride to their water, How is that not democratic.



Simplest and cheapest way to solve this problem is to let people buy their own. Withdraw it from the water supply and let those that want it buy it and take responsibility for their own health. It's easy. Buy fluoride tablets or fluoridated toothpaste. I have all kinds of medication daily you wouldn't want in your water supply. We are chronically short of magnesium and selenium in our foods that cause all kinds of problems but they don't put that in the water supply because it's not a waste product they want to get rid of. I am all for people looking after their teeth. How about subsidized dental visits annually instead.? When in doubt, don't. It needs to be withdrawn. Enforced medication is not democratic.


Your choice

To buy a filter is your choice, as I said before it is not practical to monitor the supply of diffrent water at the tap, for a minority who are against fluoride.

More fluoride

When FSA is added to water, it immediately breaks down into 3 things: water, silica (a bit of sand), and fluoride ions. These ions are identical to those already found in ground water, and merely serve to supplement the amount - which is minuscule.

Fluoride is considered a nutrient, like other minerals found in water (e.g. iron, calcium), and is needed for strong bones and teeth.

Fluoridated water helps everyone, even the elderly who have exposed roots, by continually remineralizing teeth. No other form of fluoride can equal its protection.

At the pH of drinking water, HFA immediately and completely dissociates. The products of this dissociation are fluoride ions, identical to those which exist "naturally" in water, and trace contaminants in minuscule concentrations that fall far short of EPA mandated maximum levels of safety. After this point, HFA no longer exists. It does not reach the tap. It is not ingested. It is therefore of no concern, whatsoever.

Yes, the fluoride ions released by HFA are identical to those released by Calcium Fluoride, which have been in water since the beginning of time. A fluoride ion is a fluoride ion, regardless the source. Elementary chemistry.

"Medical ethics", "informed consent", "Nuremberg Code", etc, etc, is all irrelevant nonsense. Fluoride at the optimal level is not a drug, and it is not "forced" upon anyone. Fluoride is a mineral which the FDA must classify as a drug for the sole reason of its stated use in water as a therapeutic rather than as a disinfectant. No other reason. As the EPA regulates all mineral additives to water, it is the EPA, not the FDA, which controls and regulates fluoride in water. Fluoridated water meets all NSF Standard 60 certification requirements as mandated by the EPA. There are no dosage requirements for fluoride, nor is there any need for such, any more than is there any need of dosage requirements of chlorine in water.

As there have been no proven adverse effects of water fluoridated at the optimal level in the entire 68 year history of the program, with countless peer-reviewed scientific studies having demonstrated it's effectiveness....obviously, the benefits far outweigh any perceived "harm".


Avoiding fluoride treatment

As a naturopath working in recently fluoridated Geelong, Australia, it is deeply concerning trying to help patients now becoming seriously ill from the fluoride coming through their tap.

The suggestions to provide fluoride filters in the kitchen for such people may help a little. But people still need to wash. Going without a shower should not be a requirement for anyone wanting to live in any modern city. The most successful method for avoiding fluoridated water so far is one recommended by our health authorities for those who have been medically confirmed to be getting seriously ill from fluoridated water. That is, installing an alternative water supply via enough rainwater tanks that allows for the whole house to be supplied with water. This makes it once again as safe to use as it was before fluoridation. Unfortunately, an adequate yearly supply of water needs collection off two normal size house roofs. If people getting sick from fluoride can negotiate with those next door for their water runoff to come over the fence, then it can be done.

But those people putting the fluoride into the water MUST be made not only financially accountable but to do the work needed to address these difficulties and do what is required to solve the fluoride related medical problems they have caused.

If it was . . .

If it was a true user pays system then I wouldn't be paying for a stadium I don't use in my rates each ¼. I would only pay when I went to it. Which I don't and won't.


Half's comment that because fluoride is found naturally in water, food and the environment we can add more is absurd. The fluoride ion is a regulated contaminant in water just like other contanimants like lead and arsenic.  Should we add more arsenic to water? The fluoride ion is more toxic than lead and only slightly less lethal than arsenic and we are adding more of this poison. 99 % of the fluoride goes down the drain. It would be far better to provide fluoridated taps or tablets for those who want to imbibe the stuff than fluoridating the whole water supply. There is absolutely no requirement for fluoride by the human body. Low, or no fluoride water is best. You could live your whole life without fluoride and not suffer for it. In fact you would be healthier, as apart from the the toxic fluoride, the chemical used is toxic waste from the fertiliser indsutry and has many other contaminants.

Trace elements of fluoride

Trace elements of fluoride are in groundwater the air and most things we eat drink, So really the only way to not get it is leave the planet. So this is a ploy to put a big expense on the council and then throw the old 'stop fluoride and you would save all that money argument'. 'The decision to fluoridate was made by the council, and the people, for the greater good of the community and the decision will not be what some people like, but it is not practical to regulate fluoride at the toby, when the greater percentage of the people want it.


Putting fluoride in then asking us to buy water filters is so stupid. It costs twice putting it in and taking it out again. Best to just not put it in in the first place and let those that want it use fluoridated products at home. Simple and saves the council the cost of all of it. Aren't we supposed to be a user pays society? Or is that only sometimes?

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