HC Deb 03 August 1978 vol 955 cc675-6W
Mr. David Mitchell

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services which of the following countries add fluoride officially to the general public water supplies in a similar chemical form to that recommended by the Department of Health in the United Kingdom; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, West Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway and Sweden.

Mr. Moyle

None of these countries is at present among those which add fluoride to the water supply. Seven of them were co-sponsors of one or other of the 1969 and 1975 resolutions of the World Health Assembly which commended fluoridation to member States.

My Department recommends only the optimum concentration of fluoride ion in drinking water, not any particular chemical compound necessary to achieve it. It is for the water authority which implements a health authority's request for fluoridation to choose a suitable compound, with the approval of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, so as to produce, irrespective of the compound used, a fluoride ion concentration of one part per million. This reproduces the beneficial effect of water containing a similar concentration naturally and is recommended as a safe and effective means of protecting the community against dental decay.