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Page last updated at 18:41 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 19:41 UK

Manx water to stay fluoride-free

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The Isle of Man's water supply will not have fluoride added to it

The Isle of Man will not have its water supply fluoridated after a consultation exercise revealed the majority of those questioned were opposed to the idea.

More than half (54%) of 1,000 people questioned last month said they were against the chemical being introduced.

Supporters say fluoridation can cut tooth decay but opponents claim it can cause tooth discolouration and cancer.

The Council of Ministers has now decided against fluoridating the Manx water supply.

It follows a recommendation by the Department of Health and Social Security (DHSS) after a 12-month public consultation exercise across the island.

Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security, said: "The poll results have shown that the majority of respondents are opposed to fluoridation of water in the Isle of Man.

Health promotion

"On that basis the Department accepts the results and will not continue with proposing fluoridation of the water.

"It will concentrate efforts in the coming years to further develop health promotion activity with regard to improving the dental health of everyone living in the Isle of Man."

It would have cost around 150,000 to fluoridate the water supply but the Manx government had previously declared that if the process had been carried out, the price would not have been passed on to the customer through water rates.

Fluoride is present naturally in most water supplies - but usually not at levels which are beneficial for dental health.

Currently around six million people in the UK - including the Midlands, Newcastle and the North East - receive fluoridated water supplies.


SEE ALSO
Anti-fluoride campaigners to meet
17 May 07 |  Isle of Man
County may cut back fluoridation
10 May 06 |  Lincolnshire
Fluoridated milk on school menu
20 Nov 05 |  England
Government 'pushes fluoridation'
10 Oct 05 |  UK Politics
MPs vote for water fluoridation
10 Nov 03 |  UK Politics

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