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Fluoridation of water refers to the addition of the fluoride chemical to the public supplies of water, with the main intention of reducing cavities in the teeth of consumers. Currently, majority of the residents of New Zealand consume fluoridated public water. Most of those…
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Download file to see previous pages The decision by the New Plymouth District Council to bring to an end the water fluoridation is seen as thetermination of the practice in New Zealand. According to Mary Byrne of the anti-fluoride group, the Fluoride Action Network New Zealand, the New Plymouth District Council decision could bring a domino effect to other councils leading to the chemicals rejection (Stare, 1990).
Fluoride, an ionic compound, contains the fluorine components. Fluoride, naturally found component in most of the rocks in New Zealand and worldwide, is the single most reactive element in water. Approximately 90 percent of the fluoride components added to the municipal water supplies come from the chemicals known as silicofluorides. The silicofluorides chemicals production is from the by-products of the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. In most of New Zealand’s District Councils, fluoride is added to the municipal water supplies at the concentration of about one part per million or even slightly below. Fluoride concentrations occurring in surface waters depend on location, but concentrations are low, and in most cases do not exceed 0.3 ppm. Groundwater can however contain much higher concentration levels.
Fluoride should not be included to the water supplied by district councils to the residents of cities and towns in New Zealand. A move by New Plymouth District Council is welcome and should act as a precedent to other district councils in New Zealand. Proponents of fluoridation argue that the fluoride helps by binding to tooth enamel. Enamel is primarily composed of hydroxylapatite; a crystal made up of phosphorus, calcium, oxygen and hydrogen. By replacement of hydroxyl molecule on hydroxylapatite, the resistance of the tooth to acidity attacks from bacteria will increase because of the fluoride components (Wagner, 1993). The proponents have however been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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