Hon John Day BSc BDSc MLA

Hon John Day BSc BDSc MLA

Former Minister for Health; Culture and the Arts

    WA benefits from half a century of fluoridation

    17/11/2016 2:00 PM
    • Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966 received royal assent 50 years ago tomorrow
    • Fluoride safely reduces tooth decay risk for children and adults
    • Liberal National Government committed to community consultation and expanding access to fluoridated drinking water

    Millions of West Australians have benefited from better oral health, thanks to the passage in 1966 of legislation to begin fluoridation of drinking water.


    Marking tomorrow's 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966, Health Minister John Day said the Liberal National Government was committed to continuing to spread the benefits to as many people as possible.


    "This is done in consultation with local communities," Mr Day said.


    "Water fluoridation is an important public health measure which plays a critical role in reducing dental decay and improving oral health.


    "It remains the single most effective way to deliver fluoride to all members of the community, regardless of age, individual motivation, socioeconomic status or the availability of dental care."


    The benefits and safety of fluoridation of public drinking water supplies are supported by overwhelming scientific evidence, including studies by the World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control (USA) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (Australia).


    Additionally, a WA Health study released recently showed that children in unfluoridated pockets of the State had poorer dental health.


    "It revealed they 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 Minister said.


    "Thanks to directives by successive Ministers for Health since 1967, 92 per cent of the WA population receives fluoridated drinking water including people in Perth, most Wheatbelt and southern regional communities and the larger centres of Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Albany, Collie, Karratha, Broome and Derby."


    This year, water fluoridation was extended to Moora, Dongara, Port Denison and Port Hedland. Kununurra, Newman and Yanchep are scheduled to receive access to fluoridated drinking water by December 2017.


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 6200


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