Friday, 23 January 2015

Faculty colleague interviewed on local radio

Helen Sissons was interviewed on local radio on 19 January 2015 about proposals to flouridate the water supply.  Helen's views are included in the following piece:

Fluoride is already in drinking water, but adding extra could help the city's poor dental health. 

Hull City Council say they're considering the possibility of putting fluoride into Hull's drinking water to improve our dental health.

The city is one of the worst places in the country for tooth decay, especially amongst children.

Helen Sisson, a public health lecturer at Hull University, says under normal circumstances fluoride doesn't cause side effects:

"Provided the level of fluoride that's added to water is safe, you know within the recommended levels, no there aren't. And Public Health England monitorsthis every four years in areas where fluoridisation occurs." 

She says the move could spark opposition, because people can't choose to opt out of fluoridation once it's happened:

"The argument against tend to be ethical. You can't have a choice about whether or not the water in your area is fluoridated or not. Once it's happened, you will actually get fluoridated water coming out of your tap." 

But Helen says it's a cost-effective option that could reduce the strain on the health service:

"When you look at the amount that it costs for a child to be admitted under general anaesthetic to have dental work done, because of decay, that's a significant offset for the initial costs." 

In a statement, Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health, says:

"We are working alongside Public Health England, our local dentists, schools and our community dental health providers, to ensure that we make a difference to this important area of public health.

"An oral health plan will be presented to the Health and Wellbeing Board in March and this will consider fluoridation, alongside a number of other approaches including promoting good dental hygiene and the importance of a healthy diet low in sugar." 

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