NHMRC Public Consultations

Skip Navigation and go to Content
Visit NHMRC website

Draft NHMRC Public Statement 2017: Water fluoridation and human health in Australia submission

Personal Details
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Question 1
Q1. A. The draft Public Statement is presented in a format and manner that is useful, and is easy to read and understand: 
Overarching/General comments on the Public Statement: 

The format and manner of the draft statement is misleading. It does not give any indication of "POSSIBLE" or "PROBABLE" side effects of excess fluoride ingestion.

The draft statement does not mention whether the review committee reviewed any publication regarding safety of fluoride chemical ingestion.

Comments on a particular section of the Public Statement: 
Dental fluorosis

In the section "Dental Fluorosis", the claim dental fluorosis has dropped from 40% to 25% appears to be based on a very small survey by a single dentist in South Australia (reference 4). This is misleading.

Health outcomes

The Section "Health Outcomes" states there is "no reliable evidence of an association between community water fluoridation at current Australian levels and other human health conditions". The statement should advise the public there is evidence, even if the NHMRC considers it not reliable. NHMRC should be aware tobacco companies used the same claim in defence of their products in the past. 

Question 2
Q2. A. The boxed ‘NHMRC statement’ (page one) in the draft Public Statement is justified and supported by the evidence in the Information Paper: Effects of Water Fluoridation on Dental and Other Human Health Outcomes : 
Q2. B. If disagree or neutral, please provide recent scientific evidence not previously submitted to NHMRC. Refer to what is ‘Out of scope for this public consultation’ below: 

The word "ethical", in the boxed section, should not be included if the public are to be medicated without consent. 

Question 3
Q3. A. For policy makers, the draft Public Statement provides sufficient information to support decision making in your jurisdiction or local area: 
Comments on a particular section of the Public Statement: 
Question 4
Q4. How could the Public Statement be effectively disseminated?: 
Who would find the draft Public Statement useful?

The draft statement would justify the addition of fluoride chemicals to water supplies within jurisdictions.

General comments

The draft statement appears biased against members of the public with fluoride allergies and impaired kidney function.

Question 5
Q5. Is there any other information that may be useful to include in the draft Public Statement? If so, please provide details: 

Fluoride is known to leach lead from brass fittings. The public should be aware of this especially infants, bottle-fed with fluoridated water.

The following research articles demonstrate this:

Maas RP, et al. (2007). Effects of fluoridation and disinfection agent combinations on lead leaching from leaded-brass parts. Neurotoxicology 28(5):1023-34

Coplan MJ, et al. (2007). Confirmation of and explanations for elevated blood lead and other disorders in children exposed to water disinfection and fluoridation chemicals. Neurotoxicology 28(5):1032-42

Leite GA, et al. (2011). Exposure to lead exacerbates dental fluorosis.  Archives of Oral Biology 56(7):695-702.

Masters R, et al. (2000). Association of silicofluoride treated water with elevated blood lead. Neurotoxicology. 21: 1091-1099.

Masters RD, Coplan M. (1999). Water treatment with silicofluorides and lead toxicity. International Journal of Environmental Studies.56: 435-449.

Niu R, et al. (2009). Decreased learning ability and low hippocampus glutamate in offspring rats exposed to fluoride and lead.  Environmental Toxicology & Pharmacology28(2):254-8.

Sawan RM, et al. (2010). Fluoride increases lead concentrations in whole blood and in calcified tissues from lead-exposed rats.  Toxicology 271(1-2):21-6.

Page reviewed: 9 November, 2017