Dail Debates Official Report - 26-10-00


598. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 332 of 21 March 2000, the reason he stated there was no chromium contained in hydrofluosilicic acid. [24676/00]

Minister for Health and Children (Mr. Martin): In my response to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question of 21 March 2000 I stated that chromium was not present in the hydrofluosilicic acid used for the fluoridation of public water supplies.

My reply was based on an independent laboratory analysis of hydrofluosilicic acid carried out for the Eastern Regional Health Authority, the contract holder for the supply of the substance. However, this analysis did not, apparently, include analysis for the presence of chromium. Accordingly, the laboratory report did not list the presence of chromium and my officials concluded from this report that chromium was not present. If an analysis had been conducted for chromium it is possible that trace levels of the substance might have been found. These levels would be insignificant to public health. I have asked the Eastern Regional Health Authority to extend the range of substances tested for in the course of routine independent laboratory analysis to include chromium.

I apologise to the Deputy for the unsatisfactory nature of the previous reply and I trust that I have now clarified the position to the satisfaction of the Deputy and the House.

Question No. 599 taken with Question No. 111.