Councillors agree to look at water fluoridation in Sheffield

Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield
Greg Fell, director of public health for Sheffield

It’s a controversial subject – should fluoridation be added to people’s drinking water in Sheffield?

The council’s Cabinet has agreed to look at the issue but has stressed it is just a fact finding mission.

Some areas of the UK have water fluoridation to improve dental health but many people oppose what they view as mass medication.

Local authorities are responsible for making the decision and Sheffield has agreed to explore the implications and cost.

The review will look at whether it is technically possible for Yorkshire Water to fluoridate the geographic area of Sheffield and whether it would also affect neighbouring towns.

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health in Sheffield, says in report: “The oral health vision is for all Sheffield residents to be able to speak, smile and eat with confidence and without pain or discomfort from their teeth or mouths.

“This is a technical exercise. We need to understand the costs and extra work needed for the city should we proceed.”

There is extensive legislation before it can be done. The council must develop a proposal and ask the Government if it can proceed. It must then consult with neighbouring local authorities and members of public for a minimum of three months. A final proposal is the submitted to the Secretary of State.