Final essay topics:
• Topic 1: Water fluoridation is the responsibility of local government in NSW. If a majority of residents in a Local Government Area are opposed to water fluoridation, the local governments should stop fluoridating the water in that Local Government Area.
Argument I will disagree with the argument.
Fluoridation is the practice of adding a fluoride compound to the drinking water supply by the local governments supply for the purpose of fighting dental caries.
The countries were fluoridation is common are Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S.
In few countries such as India, China and parts of Africa, fluoride levels are very high that the concerned governments are taking measures to reduce fluoride in the water.
Australian cities have been doing fluoridation of the drinking water since the past 4-5 decades, as evidenced by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the World Health Organisation showing the fluoride helps reduce dental caries.
There were only 8 local communities in NSW which were not fluoridating their water. Recently one of the communities opted in to fluoride the water in northern New South Wales.
According to the major health organisations such as WHO (world health organisation), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), fluoride reduces demineralisation of teeth and enhances remineralisation thus preventing tooth decay.
Main normative points:
1. Water fluoridation prevents dental caries in all ages. Most researches and studies have shown that it is safe and ethical way of providing benefit to everyone in the community, especially those who are economically disadvantaged, children and nursing home residents.
2. There are various toot pastes and gels available in the marked which advertise they have very high fluoride concentration. Even though fluoride toothpaste is widely available, research has shown that there is still substantially more tooth decay in un-fluoridated areas compared to fluoridated areas of NSW.
3. The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in America has recognised water fluoridation as one of the most important public health achievements in recent times. This was supported by studies in various other countries such as Canada and Europe.
4. Establishing the process which includes the design, construction and commissioning of the infrastructure. Giving education, advise and help with the necessary checks and testing following construction. Established out reaches offices for assistances and training in the regional areas. Education of people on water fluoridation especially people of rural and remote areas, indigenous people, people with low education and low socio economic people.
5. Recruiting new councils which are not fluoridating their water. Continuing to engage with councils with no current approval to fluoridate the water on a timely basis, to provide advice and information on the benefits of fluoridation, and information on the options for fluoridation in their local community. Communication from the Department heath of NSW, regarding the benefits of water fluoridation, and the evidence of the poorer dental health in un-fluoridated areas of NSW.
6. Performing period audits on random sampling to assess the regional and public attitude to water fluoridation, and to encourage councils to seek approval to fluoridate where the majority of the community is in support. These surveys and audit give hopes and encouragement to the people. The audits should be published so that public grow confidence in governmental activities.
7. Providing further opportunities for education, community consultation and information sessions to inform local decision making where communities are not currently in favour of fluoridation.
8. These activities should undertake in consultation with general practitioners, local health organisations. Medical and dental associations and royal colleges should ne involved.
in partnership with the royal colleges of Australia such as Australian Dental Association, the Australian Medical Association and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Royal Australian College of Physicians.
Few Myths about water fluoridation busted:
Fluoride is artificial: Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral
Fluoridated water does not work: This is common myth among who oppose fluoridation of water. There were many studies in United States and other developed countries about 6 decades ago. One such a randomized clinical trial of fluoridated water supplies to a large community, and then comparing the dental caries rates to a non-fluoridated water using community .
This trial was discontinued within few years because the benefits to the children in the fluoridated community were so marked that it was deemed unethical to not provide the benefits to all the other children, and so the control community water supply was also fluoridated.
It may cause various health hazards such as cancer, dementia, etc. Normal fluoride levels in Australian waters is 0.6-1.1 parts per million. Many people are worried that fluoride cases disease such as cancer, Down syndrome, cognitive problems, lowered intelligence, hip fracture, chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, low birth weight, premature death from any cause, musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, skeletal fluorosis (extra bone fluoride), thyroid problems or other self-reported complaints.
Apparently many studies have shown these diseases are found in areas or places where fluoride levels are very high such as 2-10 parts per million or more, up to 10 times levels found in Australian water.
Is it safe to be used in children?
It is safe according to many studies. Preparing infant formula with fluoridated tap water at levels found in Australian (about 0.6-1.1 parts per million) is also safe according to most of the studies.
Water fluoridation is effective and safe and prevents dental caries. We should recruit more council to fluoride water.
Many European countries still do not fluoridate the water. Its only about 11 % in the UK.
They are suspicions that fluoride is known to reduce intelligent quotient, cause kidney failure, bone degeneration and many more side effects. It is thought that fluoride accumulates in the bone and brain in long rung which will be cumulative effect.
There are arguments these governmental authorities want to fool the masses so their minds can be more easily controlled. Few people though research carried out were false.
Ethical concerns such as mass medication, we should be given right to choose, no options to opt out.
Health concerns such as individual dosing difficult to regulate the daily intake personal health concerns. Concerns that government is not targeting vulnerable population such as children, low socio economic people etc.
Environmental effects such as effects on the water supply, on agriculture, accumulation in the environment and increased fluoride in food.
High cost on tax payer’s money for building, managing and maintaining water plants.
Certain subgroups are affected by fluoridation to a greater extent than other people. People vary considerably in their sensitivity and absorption capability to toxic substances, including fluoride. Such group includes Infants, the elderly, diabetics, malnourished and those with chronic kidney impairment are especially vulnerable to specific adverse effects of fluoride. Black and Mexican-Americans have a higher prevalence of the more severe forms of dental fluorosis.
No monitoring of fluoride levels are among the citizens in Australia such as tests for urine, blood or bones is being carried-out by GP, public hospitals. So there is no directory of adverse effects on accumulated exposures.
It is known fact that water fluoridation prevents tooth decay and it is safe and effective.
There ae many concerns raised by the public and many organisations which be used in future population health campaigns, research, public education, consultation and allocation of resources.
Open community debate should be further held in this regard.