Health In Focus
  • After a series of 3000 different research projects over 60 years, Australia’s water fluoridation has been found safe for consumption.
  • Water fluoridation has no link with causing cancer, lowering IQ or causing any other perceived health risks.
  • At optimum levels adding fluoride to drinking water is a public health measure that reduces tooth decay.

In one of the largest and most comprehensive study conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, researchers have found that the optimum level of fluoride in drinking water is safe for consumption. Water fluoridation was not associated with risks of causing cancer, lowering IQ and other perceived health problems. Australia's verdict was based on over 60 years of research and over 3000 studies.

Water fluoridation

Water fluoridation is the controlled act of adding a certain level of a chemical compound called fluoride to drinking water supply. Fluoride has natural tooth protective properties and protects teeth from cavities. While there are countries that add fluoride to drinking water supply as a public health measure, the amount of fluoride added varies. However, community water fluoridation is considered among the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century and is supported by public health, medical and dental organizations worldwide.
Australia’s Verdict on Fluoride in Drinking Water

Currently recommended levels of fluoride that is considered safe in potable water is set at an upper limit of 1.5 mg/L. The standard for fluoride in bottled or packaged drinking water ranges between 0.6-1.1 mg/L.

Australia's verdict

After the largest and most comprehensive study to date, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has declared that the fluoride levels used in Australia is safe for consumption. The findings were based from over 3000 different studies on the issue conducted over a period of 60 years. Moreover, water fluoridation at Australia's level was not associated with causing cancer or lowering IQ.

Additionally, the study reassures that fluoridation at optimum levels is indeed an essential public health measure that is effective in reducing tooth decay. When used at optimum levels there was a 26 to 44% tooth decay reduction in children and adults.

"It shows that community water fluoridation as it is used in Australia today is effective at reducing tooth decay and is not associated with any general negative health effects," NHMRC CEO Anne Kelso announced.

While previous studies, especially from China have suggested negative effects of water fluoridation on health, the Australian lead study blames the use of bad methodology for the results. Also, the study was conducted on fluoride levels that were up to five times higher than that of Australian fluoride levels in water.

References :
  1. With 60 Years of Data and 3000 Studies, Australia Declares Fluoride 'Completely Safe' - (
  2. The Debate Over Fluoridated Water - (
Source: Medindia

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