HC Deb 26 February 1985 vol 74 cc131-2W
Mr. Best asked

the Prime Minister how many cases of accidental fluoride poisoning (a) in the workplace, (b) as a result of excess inclusion of fluoride in the water supply and (c) in all other circumstances have occurred in the United Kingdom in the last 30 years; and if she has any information on incidents in other countries in any of these categories in the same period.

The Prime Minister

During the 30 years in which water fluoridation has taken place in this country, there have been no instances of accidental fluoride poisoning as a result of excess inclusion of fluoride in the water supply. We are aware of one such accident resulting in a fatality which occurred in Annapolis in the United States of America in 1979 as a result of the fluoried level in the water accidentally rising to 20 times the optimal level. Such an accident could not occur in this country. The equipment here is designed to halt the supply of fluoride if the concentration in the water supply begins to exceed the tolerance level. Even if there were a malfunction in the monitoring equipment, the amount of fluoride which could enter the supply at any one time is severely limited.

I regret that information relating to accidental fluoride poisoning at the workplace could not be obtained without disproportionate cost and that data on the incidence of such accidents in all other circumstances are not available.