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FLUORIDATION OF WATER TO BE DECIDED LOCALLY

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Draft regulations setting out how Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) ...
Draft regulations setting out how Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs)

should consult local people on the decision to fluoridate water

supplies were published today by public health minister Melanie

Johnson.

The draft regulations require SHAs to publish proposals to fluoridate

in the local media, and consult on the decision for three months.

SHAs would only then ask the water company to fluoridate if the

response to the proposals was predominantly in favour of

fluoridation.

Ms Johnson said:

'The oral health of the population has improved dramatically in the

last 30 years, but there remain unacceptable inequalities - children

in parts of the North of England have on average twice as much tooth

decay as those in some other parts of the country.

'Fluoridation can reduce dental decay as is clear from areas in the

West Midlands and the North East of England where water is

fluoridated. However it should not be imposed by central government

- local communities must decide whether they want fluoride added to

their water supply.'

Notes

1. Section 58 of the Water Act 2003 amended Sections 87 -91 of the

Water Industry Act (WIA) 2001 to put water companies under an

obligation to agree to requests from Strategic Health Authorities to

fluoridate but only after they had consulted on the proposal. Section

89 of the WIA requires that SHAs comply with regulations governing

the conduct of these consultations.

2. The Department of Health wishes to consult on the content of

regulations before they are laid before Parliament for debate. The

draft regulations and an explanatory note are available

onwww.dh.gov.uk/Consultations/LiveConsultations/fs/en

Comments need to be submitted by 29 October 2004.

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