data on water fluoride concentrations used in “Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2022”

AEHSP made this Freedom of Information request to Department of Health and Social Care

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Waiting for an internal review by Department of Health and Social Care of their handling of this request.

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information law we request data that was used to produce a recent report by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) titled “Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2022”. The report is available at this URL:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

We request the data on drinking water fluoride concentrations in England that was used to produce the report. The section of the report headed “Methods: Exposure” on pages 21-24, gives details on the data used for the report. Three different definitions of fluoride exposure were used for the report and we request the data for each of the three measures.

The water fluoride measures were at the geographical area of LSOA (Lower-level Super Output Area).

For all LSOAs we request:

1. The fluoride concentration category, as defined in the report by the following five categories:

• <0.1mg/l
• 0.1 - <0.2mg/l
• 0.2 - <0.4mg/l
• 0.4 - <0.7mg/l
• ≥0.7mg/l

2. Fluoride concentration as a continuous exposure measure (in units of mg/l).

3. The category of Fluoride Scheme for the LSOA, following the definitions of the three possible categories given in the report, quoting directly:

EXPOSED: Presence of a fluoridation scheme in any of the years of the exposure period, regardless of the mean fluoride concentration achieved (there were no areas with a fluoridation scheme in place and a grand mean fluoride concentration of <0.2mg/l)

UNEXPOSED: No fluoridation scheme functioning in any of the years of the exposure period, and a grand mean fluoride of <0.2mg/l

EXCLUDED: No fluoridation scheme functioning in any of the years of the exposure period, and a grand mean fluoride of ≥0.2mg/l

The data may be supplied as three separate files or as a single file with one (or both) LSOA identification fields and three fields for the three definitions of fluoride exposure:

LSOA identification code
LSOA identification name
fluoride concentration category (5 categories)
fluoride concentration (continuous)
fluoride scheme category (3 categories)

The report says the software STATA was used for data management and analyses. We therefore ask that the requested data be supplied as an electronic file in STATA format. Alternatively, we request it be supplied as an Excel file. Here is the report’s description of the software used for producing the report:

“Data management
Data cleaning, management, and visualisation were conducted in STATA 16, R 4.1, and R Studio 2021.09.0. Data analysis was conducted in STATA 16.”

Yours faithfully,

AEHSP

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear AEHS,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent FOI request (our ref: FOI-1403762).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I am resubmitting my request and including my full name, to meet the condition of section 8(1) of FOI, as you requested.
My name is Mr. Chris Neurath.

Yours faithfully,

Chris Neurath
AEHSP

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department of Health and Social Care's handling of my FOI request 'data on water fluoride concentrations used in “Water fluoridation: Health monitoring report for England 2022”'.

On May 3, 2022 I submitted my FOI request. On May 27, 2022 I received a response asking me to submit my full name. I did so on May 27, 2022 and asked that my original request be considered resubmitted. It is now June 26, 2022 and more than 20 days has passed and I have heard nothing. I request an internal review at the Department of Health and Social Care for failure to meet statutory deadlines for response to my request. I would also note that the initial rejection on the grounds that a full name was required was not sent to me until the very last possible day to meet that deadline. It seems unreasonable that such a simple problem with my initial submission could not have been addressed more quickly. If it really took 20 days to realize my request was lacking a full name that suggests that if it had not been lacking a full name the response would have taken longer than 20 days because there would have been no more days to locate the requested data after the screening determination for a full name. In other words, there seems to be evidence the department has intentionally tried to delay a response to my FOI request.

Therefore, I request that the internal review be done as expeditiously as possible, or if the department intends to grant my request that they let me know promptly when they expect to do so.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/d...

Yours faithfully,

Chris Neurath
AEHSP