Expert issues fluoride level warning

People in fluoridated water areas could be consuming up to eight times as much fluoride as the European recommended limit, it has been claimed. There has also been a call for family doctors here to routinely test patients for fluoride levels.

Dr Peter Mansfield, a UK expert, was addressing Kildare County Council on the results of his study into the effects of water-borne fluoride on individuals.

A member of the UK Fluoride Working Group, Dr Mansfield also called for regular fluoride tests on individuals in Ireland. He advised that Irish doctors should be trained to spot the symptoms of excessive fluoride intake.

Too much fluoride can result in brittle bones, according to the Department of Health's Chief Dental Officer.

"The clinical implications for GPs in fluoridated Ireland should be addressed immediately", he said. "Assuming they are aware of the symptoms, which very few are in the UK, GPs in both the UK and Ireland should do routine fluoride tests for patients with relevant symptoms and be trained in how to interpret them".

Dr Mansfield's 10 year study found that one in three people in the fluoridated British Midlands are receiving over four milligrams of fluoride each day, three times the recommended level. Dr Mansfield warned that levels in Ireland, with 73% of the country fluoridated, are likely to be similar.

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