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Available literature on sodium monofluorophosphate and sodium fluoride suggests that sodium monofluorophosphate is hydrolysed in fluoride and phosphate ions and the Panel concludes that fluoride bioavailability will be to an extent comparable to the one from sodium fluoride. The most sensitive effect of fluoride exposure in humans is dental fluorosis and conclusions of comprehensive evaluations indicate that genotoxicity and carcinogenicity are not of concern for fluoride exposure in humans. Long-term clinical interventions trials have suggested that monofluorophosphate is better tolerated than other common sources of fluoride such as sodium fluoride. Based on toxicity data from readily soluble forms of fluoride tolerable upper intake levels (ULs) for fluoride have been established in Europe. The proposed supplementation foresees that sodium monofluorophosphate will be added to food supplements to supply between 0.25 and 2 mg fluoride per day, corresponding to approximately 2.5 to 16 mg sodium monofluorophosphate.
Fluoridation: Case study
When health chiefs in Southampton decided to demand the fluoridation of water supplies last year, they argued that it was the only way to reduce tooth decay, which leaves four in every ten children in the city with a filling by the time that they start school.
Despite a three-month public consultation, which found 78 per cent of more than 10,000 responses against the proposal, the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) decided to go ahead with the scheme, which is expected to start in 2010.
Health managers responsible for Southampton are the first to use new law changes introduced in 2003 that oblige water companies to agree to health authority requests to fluoridate.
Opponents, including the National Pure Water Association, are still considering whether to mount a legal action to try to block the scheme.