Cancer rates are not higher in countries where water supplies are fortified with fluoride, says Ireland’s National Cancer Registry (NCR), after a group posited just such a link.
"We do not consider that water fluoridation is a plausible explanation for the patterns shown," NCR said, noting findings in Australia, Canada , New Zealand, Norway, the UK and the US support this, in press reports.
The NCR was responding to use of the all-Ireland cancer atlas that had been used to show a link between fluoride in water and cancer, by comparing rates in Northern Ireland, where water mains are not fortified the mineral used to boost dental health.
NCR said the map had been, "erroneously used by anti-fluoridation groups to suggest a link between water fluoridation and cancer.”
"Although the bulk of the population in the Republic of Ireland lives in cities and large towns, where the water is fluoridated, most of the area shown on the map is sparsely populated and without fluoridated water supplies, so water fluoridation cannot be suggested as an explanation for the patterns seen.”
The Irish Department of Health backed the ongoing fortification of water with fluoride.
"There are no plans to discontinue the policy of fluoridation of public water supplies, which continues to make an effective contribution to oral health in Ireland."