Only a very small percent (around 3%) of children are likely to develop noticeable fluorosis

“Only a very small percent (around 3%) of children are likely to develop noticeable fluorosis.”

Members of the Queenslanders for Safe Water, Air and food Inc. (QAWF) have often claimed that 25% of children develop dental fluorosis in fluoridated ares, basing this upon the 2007 NSW Dental Health Survey. Yet this is entirely wrong and intentionally misleading.

The report itself states that “[m]ore than 97% of 8 to 12 year old children do not display any discernible signs of fluorosis”. To make up this additional 22%, QAWF look at the table on page 29 of the report, adding up all cases where the Thylstrup and Felerskov index (TF) was >0.

It is questionable how this could be deemed as detrimental to a child’s mental health when the bulk of these cases are mild at best and unlikely to have been noticed by the person in question.

Moreover, if one cares to read the actual report, one finds that in non-fluoridated areas, the prevalence of white colouration, that is children with a TF >0 is 16.8%. If this can be considered the “background” levels of fluorosis we are left with only an additional 8% of children developing fluorosis of any level due to fluoridated water.

That the report states an agreement between assessors of about 82% (page 7), one should be even more cautious with their confidence in such small difference between groups with such a comparatively large margin of error.

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Have you heard of any other anti-fluoridation arguments that I’ve not covered? Feel free to forward them to me via the post submissions forms here and, time pending, I’ll do what I can to provide a strong counter-argument based upon facts.

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