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Health effects of water fluoridation

2014: This paper reviews the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of adding fluoride to public water supplies.

This review has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand public water supplies create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay.

The review was commissioned by Sir Peter Gluckman, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and Sir David Skegg, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand at the request of Auckland City on behalf of several local Councils.


Expert Panel Members

Charles Eason, PhD, MIBiol
CEO Cawthron Institute; Professor, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University, Christchurch, NZ

J. Mark Elwood, DSc, MD, MBA, SM, MB, BSc; FRCPC, FAFPHM
Professor, Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Population Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, NZ

Professor, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD, Australia; Former Dean, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

W. Murray Thomson, BSc, BDS, MA, MComDent, PhD
Professor, Dental Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

Nick Wilson, MB ChB, DIH, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Public Health; Co-Director, Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost Effectiveness (BODE3) Programme, University of Otago, Wellington, NZ

Panel Lay Observer

Kerry L Prendergast, CNZM
Chair, Environmental Protection Authority, and former Mayor, Wellington, NZ

Literature reviewer/writer

Anne Bardsley, PhD
Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Auckland, NZ

New Zealand reviewer

Wayne Temple, BSc(Hons), PhD, FNZIC, CChem, FRSC, MAACT
Director, National Poisons Centre, University of Otago, Dunedin, NZ

International reviewers

Professor David Coggon, OBE, MA, PhD, DM, FRCP, FFOM, FFPH, FMedSci
Professor Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Southampton; Southampton, UK

Professor Mark WJ Ferguson, CBE, BDS, BSc, PhD, DMedSc, FFD, FDS, FMedSci
Director General, Science Foundation Ireland; Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of Ireland, Dublin, Ireland

Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds, AO, BSc, PhD
Head, Melbourne Dental School; Associate Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne; CEO, Oral Health Centre of Research Cooperation; Melbourne, VIC, Australia