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HomeLifestyleHealth & FitnessFluoridation of the water supply.  A human rights violation?

Fluoridation of the water supply.  A human rights violation?

Western Australia’s drinking water supply has been artificially fluoridated since 1968 in the belief that it would aid the dental health of the population. Recently however, there have been calls that this activity may well be in breach of human rights.

Western Australia’s drinking water supply has been artificially fluoridated since 1968 in the belief that it would aid the dental health of the population. Recently however, there have been calls that this activity may well be in breach of human rights. Human rights activist and Lawyer Michael Klimek of Klimek Family Law in Perth says that, “Resolution 64/292 of the United Nations General Assembly dated 28 July 2010 recognises the human right to water and acknowledges that clean drinking water is essential to the realisation of all human rights”.
Mr Klimek alleges that the addition of fluoride could fall into the category of adding a ‘chemical substance’. “If fluoride is a chemical substance that constitutes a threat to a person’s health, its presence in drinking water prevents it from being classified as clean”, Mr Klimek said.

 Global fluoridation practices

At present, only Australia, New Zealand, the United States and parts of the United Kingdom still add fluoride to their drinking water supplies. The Health Department of Western Australia claims, ‘Drinking fluoridated water can help to prevent dental health problems. Fluoride can also reverse the early stages of tooth decay’.
A study conducted in 2016 in Western Australia, ‘Dental Health Outcomes of Children Residing in Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Areas of Western Australia’ reports that ‘children from un-fluoridated areas were at 1.6 times the risk of having one or more decayed, missing or filled permanent teeth, compared with children drinking fluoridated water’.
The then Minister for Health, John Day said, “The bottom line is that water fluoridation works and remains our single most important public health measure to combat tooth decay”.

Dr Richa Seth, of Smile Centre, Mt Lawley in Perth, agrees with the government research, “All the research indicates that fluoridation of the water is highly beneficial and promotes healthy teeth”.
When asked if this was a directive also from the Australian Dental Association, Dr Seth said, “All dentists around Australia are in full agreement that water fluoridation is very important”.

This is at odds with World Health Organisation findings however, which show a similar downward trend in tooth decay for both non-fluoridated countries as well as fluoridated, over a 40-year period.
Latest figures show almost 97% of the western European population drinks non-fluoridated water. This includes Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and approximately 90% of both the United Kingdom and Spain.

Lowering of IQ

Recent studies further compound the issues with fluoride. In August this year, A Canadian study conducted over five years on a sample of 601 mother-child pairs, found that in the 41% who lived in communities supplied with fluoridated water, the maternal exposure to fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged three to four years.
The study, which conclusively proves a detrimental health effect on a person who ingests fluoride in the course of consuming drinking water, is certain to have some serious repercussions for governments who persist with adding fluoride to scheme water.

The reasons for most countries not fluoridating vary. Some countries point to research which shows no discernible benefit of fluoridating drinking water. Other countries are concerned over the toxicity of the type of fluoride used and its potential secondary health risks while some , like Belgium, believe that it is ‘not the task of government to deliver medicinal treatment to people’.

Chemical production

A large part of the increasing global concern with fluoridation is the source of the ‘fluoride’. In many instances, the fluoride is added in the form of hydrofluorosilic acid.

The West Australian Health Department on their website ‘Fluoride facts for Western Australia’ states: ‘In Western Australia, the following compounds containing fluoride are added to drinking water supplies: fluorosilicic acid (a compound of fluorine, hydrogen and silicon). This is the most common method of adding fluoride to drinking water supplies in Western Australia. Fluorosilicic acid is sourced as a by-product from superphosphate production. This is the most common way of making fluoride found around the world. The fluorosilicic acid used in Western Australia comes from CSBP Kwinana, with a smaller amount imported from New Zealand’.

What the government describes as a ‘by-product’ is actually a highly toxic (poison schedule 7) ‘waste product’ of fertiliser production. In order to manufacture superphosphate, finely ground phosphate rock is mixed with sulphuric acid. This releases silicon tetrafluoride.
Uncontrolled release of this gas into the atmosphere could cause significant environmental pollution, so every fertiliser works has a ‘gas scrubber’, which uses a reaction with water to contain the gas. The resultant liquid is hydrofluorosilic acid.
This is the end product, which is added to the water supply, and it is not of pharmaceutical grade manufactured for this purpose, but industrial waste.
Research into the function of fluoride has shown that it does have a topical effect (on teeth) but has no systemic effect on treating dental caries. The consumption of fluoride via drinking water therefore has no benefit and only exposes the body to the detrimental effects of the chemical. Apart from the recent research showing its effects on brain development, overexposure has also been known to cause impairment of kidney function and both dental and skeletal fluorosis.

Mass medication

The term “mass medication” describes procedures used to deliver a preventive or therapeutic regimen to a population, rather than to individual members of that population.
The United States Food & Drug Administration has acknowledged that fluoride is not an essential mineral nutrient and therefore has classified sodium fluoride as a drug administered for therapeutic effect.
For many European countries, this lead to the conclusion that involuntary mass medication was taking place and they have withdrawn fluoride from the waters supply.
In the case of Jehl K Doberer v Switzerland (1993), the European Commission on Human Rights ruled that water fluoridation violated the right to private and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Last year in New Zealand, the Supreme Court ruled that fluoridation of the water supply is mass medication and in breach of human rights.
This landmark decision determined, by a majority vote, that the fluoridation of water is a medical treatment and not a ‘topping up of natural levels’ as claimed by the Ministry of Health.
The court therefore found that fluoridation of drinking water is the provision of medical treatment to subjects who are not in a position to refuse. Subject to s5, therefore, s11 of the Bill of Rights Act is engaged, meaning a breach of human rights has occurred.


The public here in Australia is still being administered a potentially dangerous drug, on a massive scale, without their consent or a dosage protocol. The result is not, ‘better teeth’, but according to the latest research, a large scale dumbing down of the population. And at the same time, someone has found a convenient way of disposing of toxic industrial waste.

Lawyer Michael Klimek wants the West Australian Government to revisit its policy on fluoridation. “Over the past 50 years, new scientific data has been made available which indicates fluoride is unsafe to put into drinking water. The Western Australian government should reconsider its current position and stop the fluoridation of its drinking water,” Mr Klimek said.



CDC 2001, Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

Cheng K, Chalmers I, Sheldon T, 2007, Adding fluoride to water supplies


Cross, Douglas, 2013, Water Fluoridation as Mass Medication

Department of Health WA 2019, Fluoride facts for Western Australia

Department of Health WA 2019, Fluoride and protecting your teeth from tooth decay,

Encyclopedia.com, 2019, mass medication

Fluoridefree 2019, What is fluoride?

Government of Western Australia, 2016,  Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966

Green R, Lanphear B, Hornung R, et al. 2019, Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(10):940–948. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1729

Government of Western Australia, 2019, Minister for Health: New WA study confirms fluoride dental benefits https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/Media-releases/New-WA-study-confirms-fluoride-dental-benefits

Maddox, G, 2018, Fluoridation is mass medication, NZ Supreme Court rules

Marie Ludlow, Grant Luxton, Timothy Mathew,2007,  Effects of fluoridation of community water supplies for people with chronic kidney disease, Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, Volume 22, Issue 10, October 2007, Pages 2763–2767, https://doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfm477



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