Further to the article in this newspaper on July15 “Borough tops the child tooth decay table again”, we share the concern about our poor dental health record. We applaud the Borough Council for all the strategies that they are recommending apart from fluoridation of the water supplies.

The public should be aware that fluoridation is the practice of adding compounds containing fluoride (hexafluorosilicic acid or disodium hexafluorosilicate) to the water supply to produce a final concentration of one part per million – 1ppm – (1 milligram per litre).

The fluoride compounds used in water fluoridation are by-products of the manufacture of phosphate fertiliser and contain trace elements such as lead and arsenic.

These compounds should not be confused with naturally occurring calcium fluoride found in some water supplies or pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride found in toothpaste, gels, mouthwashes, etc.

Our main argument against fluoridation is one of medical ethics, and in particular, patient consent. From the legal point of view, fluoridation is a medical intervention and we have the legal right to accept or refuse medication or treatment.

A doctor, dentist or health professional who treats us on an individual basis and knows our medical history, is in a unique position to offer advice on medication or treatment they believe we require. By law they cannot force us to accept their medical advice.

The medical “experts” might believe at times the individual makes the wrong decision, for example refusing the Covid jab, refusing blood transfusions by Jehovah’s Witnesses, or not giving up smoking, but the individual has the final say and legally the right to refuse.

A deficiency of fluoride does not cause tooth decay, it is the sugary food and drinks that cause the decay, so by better dental health education tooth decay can be reduced and prevented. It makes much more sense to tackle the causes of dental decay - not the symptoms.

Linda Forrest, Chair East Lancashire Against Fluoridation