Fluoridation of Drinking Water

Fluoridation of Drinking Water

About 90 per cent of Tasmanians receive mains water supply from TasWater. Of this serviced population, about 98 per cent of those people receive a fluoridated supply.

Community water fluoridation is a public health measure that aims to reduce dental decay. It is the controlled adjustment of fluoride compound to a public water supply in order to bring the fluoride concentration up to a level that reduces tooth decay.  In Tasmania, fluoride levels are adjusted to between 0.8 and 1.1 mg/L (milligram per litre) of fluoride.

In 2017, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) finished a thorough review of the latest scientific research relevant to Australia on the potential link between water fluoridation and human health. The NHMRC has confirmed that community water fluoridation helps reduce tooth decay, and that there is no reliable evidence that water fluoridation at current Australian levels causes health problems. The NHMRC has published “Water Fluoridation in Australia: Questions and Answers” to support the release of the 2017 Public Statement. The Question and Answer resource provides additional details on the benefits of community water fluoridation and presents some of the scientific research from the NHMRC review.

Community water fluoridation is supported by the Department and has been endorsed as a safe and effective public health measure by more than 150 scientists and health organisations, including the:

The Department has issued a Tasmanian Code of Practice for the Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies, which is based on the legislative requirements under the Fluoridation Act 1968 and the Fluoridation Regulations 2019.  It sets the requirements for TasWater to comply with the legislative framework, including the optimal range, testing, monitoring and management activities.  The legislative framework establishes a Fluoridation Committee that advises the Minister for Health on matters relating to fluoride and public health. The Committee comprises members from within the Department and external.

The Code of practice can be found at:

The water supply in Beaconsfield was the first fluoridated supply in Australia in 1953.

Each year the Fluoridation Committee published a Report for the Minister of Health detailing monitoring and management activities for fluoridated water supplies.  The Director fo Public Health publishes this information annually

Annual Fluoridation Reports

July 2019