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April 5, 2011
Toronto Board of Health supports continued fluoridation of drinking water
  
The Toronto Board of Health yesterday voted in favour of the continued fluoridation of Toronto drinking water.

The Board of Health discussed fluoridation after requesting a report from the Medical Officer of Health at its January meeting.

“Fluoridation of water is the most cost-effective and equitable way to prevent dental decay for all residents, and that’s why cities across Canada and the United States continue to promote water fluoridation,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Arlene King, spoke to the Board of Health in favour of water fluoridation, and issued a statement reminding other Ontario municipalities of the important health benefits of fluoride.

“Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease among Canadians of all ages and poor oral health is linked to diabetes, heart disease and respiratory conditions. Water fluoridation is, and must be recognized as, a very important public health measure,” said Dr. King.

The effectiveness of community water fluoridation in reducing dental decay has been endorsed by more than 90 national and international organizations, including Health Canada, the Canadian and Ontario Medical Associations, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Ontario Dental Association, the Association of Local Public Health Agencies, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Discontinuing the fluoridation of Toronto water would reduce the oral health status of Torontonians and will result in increased costs for treatment of dental disease,” said Dr. McKeown.

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in rocks, soil and water. The amount of fluoride added to drinking water is regulated by provincial standards. At the current level, Toronto’s drinking water contains a lower level of fluoride than naturally occurring levels in some parts of Ontario.

Toronto’s drinking water has been fluoridated since 1963. The Board of Health last reaffirmed its position on fluoridation in 2007.

The report presented to the Board of Health is available at http://www.toronto.ca/health.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media contact:
Rishma Govani
Toronto Public Health
Tel: 416-338-7974
Email: rgovani@toronto.ca


 

 

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