Fluoride and cancer

There isn't evidence of higher cancer rates in areas with fluoridated tap water

A report published yesterday by Public Health England concluded that there is no evidence of higher cancer rates in areas with fluoridated tap water, compared to those without fluoridation. The report also concludes that incidence rates for bladder and bone cancer are the same in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. These observations were based on a study of cancer incidence in the entire population of England in 2007-2010, 12% of whom lived in fluoridated areas. The study covered a population of over 50 million people, with over 1 million cancer cases.

This very large study adds to the considerable evidence that while fluoridation of water improves dental health, it is not a risk factor for cancer. Given the very large size of the English study and the absence of any detectable effect of fluoride on cancer rates it is clear that water fluoridation practice cannot be responsible for large international differences in cancer incidence, as has been suggested recently by some anti-fluoridation groups.

The National Cancer Registry, with the Northern Ireland Cancer registry, has published a detailed study showing that fluoridation has no impact on bone cancer rates in Ireland. We have also commented on, and rejected, suggestions that north-south differences in cancer rates in Ireland could be due to fluoridation.


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