THE presence of fluoride in drinking water from the Loughguittane treatment centre in Killarney, and nationally, amounts to mass medication without consent and it gives real cause for concern, it has been claimed.

Killarney Municipal District Council has been urged to write to the appropriate minister to request the removal of fluoride from the drinking water in the town’s supply which also extends to other parts of the county.

Cllr Donal Grady said while it was seen as an ideal solution to the problem of oral care several years ago, serious questions have since arisen and numerous countries have imposed complete bans on the use of fluoride in water.

“It has never been properly tested for safety for human consumption or for the environment. Several countries have rejected it,” Cllr Grady told the council meeting on Wednesday.

He said people are now being subjected to doses of fluoride that are 10 times more than they should be receiving and it amounted to mass medication without public consent.

Over 62,000 people and an estimated 1.2 million tourists annually are supplied from the Kerry Central Regional Water Supply Scheme which serves Killarney, Tralee, Castleisland and Castlemaine.

Kerry County Council officials said drinking water fluoridation is part of government public health and Irish Water policies. It is supported by the Irish Forum on Fluoridation, the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, the World Health Organisation, the International Association for Dental Research and the World Dental Federation.

“All aspects of fluoridation are financed by the HSE, “ said a council official who added that, essentially, it was a matter of the elected councillors to consider.

At Cllr Grady’s request, a decision was taken to raise the matter with the office of the minister responsible.

According to the Health Service Executive, fluoride has been added to some drinking water supplies in Ireland to bring the concentration up to a level that protects against dental decay.

In recent years, there have been some concerns that fluoride may be linked to a variety of health-related problems, such as bone cancer but, the HSE claims, the Medical Research Council has looked at the available research and confirmed that there is no increased risk of any adverse health effects from artificially fluoridated water.

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