Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

I append a paragraph from the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality, 4th edition [WHO 2022, https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10.... On p. 405, the WHO recommends that:
"In setting national standards or local guidelines for fluoride or in evaluating the
possible health consequences of exposure to fluoride, it is essential to consider the
average daily intake of water by the population of interest and the intake of fluoride
from other sources (e.g. from food and air). Where the intakes are likely to approach,
or be greater than, 6 mg/day, it would be appropriate to consider setting a standard or
local guideline at a concentration lower than 1.5 mg/l."

WHO's conclusion is that if there are no other sources of fluoride, it is safe for a person to be exposed to up to 1.5mg F/litre. (Unfortunately the WHO has not yet caught up with the science relating to the very strong link between "swallowed" fluoride and IQ reduction.)

Returning to the issue of other forms of exposure to fluoride:

1. Has the responsible person in DHSC read the paragraph on p. 405 of the WHO's Guidelines?

2. If aware of the paragraph, what steps has the responsible person taken when preparing for the Public Consultation in the North-East to examine and measure the exposure to fluoride from various sources in fluoridated Newcastle? Note that WHO has not mentioned all types of exposure to fluoride when it says: "(e.g. from food and air)". That "e.g." is not exclusive and exposure can also be from bath and shower water. There is empirical research evidence that fluorides are absorbed through the skin when bathing.

3. If not aware, could the responsible person please provide reasons for not agreeing to making an assessment in line with the WHO's recommendation before announcing the date of the Public Consultation. In order to aid this process, should the responsible person agrees to making an assessment, water is the main source but the next main source of ingested exposure to fluoride is from drinking tea (the traditional "cuppa". Less expensive and older tea leaves contain more fluoride than younger tea leaves). Also, all foods made in a fluoridated area contain fluoride if fluoridated water is used in their manufacture*. People who swallow their fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash are also exposed. Many pharmaceutical medicines contain fluoride.

Yours faithfully,

Joy Warren

* In the UK, it is not legally permitted to add hexafluorosilicic acid to manufactured food. (EU Reg. 1925/2006, Art. 17; EU Reg. 1170/2009, Annex II/III; UK Reg. 1631/2007)

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Warren,

Please find attached the Department of Health and Social Care's response
to your recent EIR request (our ref: EIR-1499383).

Yours sincerely, 

Freedom of Information Team
Department of Health and Social Care

show quoted sections

Dear Department of Health and Social Care,

Thank you for your prompt reply to my request for information.

Please let me know why the request was answered under the ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION REGULATIONS.

My Question 2 asked " If aware of the paragraph, what steps has the responsible person taken when preparing for the Public Consultation in the North-East to examine and measure the exposure to fluoride from various sources in fluoridated Newcastle? " Your reply: "DHSC does not hold the information requested." doesn't make any sense.

So, I repeat my question: " ... what steps has the responsible person taken ...

Since the responsible person is employed at the DHSC, not being able to find out this information is counter-intuitive.

Please reply to Q.2. and to my query about employing the EIR instead of the usual FoI law.

Yours faithfully,

Joy Warren

Department of Health and Social Care

1 Attachment

 
Dear Ms Warren,

Your requested internal review of EIR-1499383 is now complete. Please see
the attached letter for the outcome.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Internal Reviews
Department of Health and Social Care
 
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