New Zealand Seeks to Fluoridate All Water in Country as Public Health Measure
Wellington- The authorities of New Zealand want to fluoridate all water supplies in the country as a measure to help the population maintain oral health, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said on Wednesday.
“Today I have written to 14 local authorities, directing them to fluoridate their drinking water supply. This is the first time that I have issued direction to fluoridate water since legislative changes last year… The time that each local authority has to fluoridate their water supply varies between six months and just over three years, depending on the current water supply,” Bloomfield said during a briefing.
Local authorities will be eligible for funding from a 11.3 million New Zealand dollars ($7 million) fund allocated for capital projects in this sphere, the New Zealand health ministry’s statement read.
“Water fluoridation helps prevent tooth decay, along with brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, eating healthy food and avoiding sugary drinks,” Bloomfield added.
The Director-General believes that with this initiative the number of citizens receiving fluoridated water will increase from 51% to around 60%. The ministry will track the improvements in the oral health of the citizens and report on it.
According to the Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, there is no evidence that fluoridated water caused any significant health issues at the levels used in the country.