Health experts have called for a halt to adding fluoride to drinking water amid claims it could give people bone cancer.
The chemical has been added to water supplies covering six million people in the UK for more than 40 years and the process is backed by Public Health England who say it is a 'safe and effective' health measure to combat tooth decay.
But researchers are now saying it may cause seriously dangerous side effects such as bone and bladder cancers and also lower children's IQs.
Prof Stephen Peckham, of the University of Kent, pictured, has called for a halt to fluoridation
Stephen Peckham, professor of health policy at the centre for health service studies at Kent University, said the process was introduced before there was enough research to demonstrate its safety and effectiveness.
He told The Guardian: 'It's a dental health policy that's got up a head of steam and people have been reluctant to see it criticised.
'You can't really confidently say that water fluoridation is either safe or effective. There is a problem where the evidence is seen as either totally in favour or totally negative and it's more murky than that.'
Prof Peckham has led research into whether hyperthyroidism - which can cause anxiety, sleeping problems and muscle weakness - is linked to fluoridation but said there are problems with evidence on both sides of the argument.
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