© 2000-2004 PFPC

   Since, 1987, all salt destined for human consumption in Jamaica has been fluoridated. This includes individual salt, as well as all salt used in food industries.

   How did salt fluoridation come about?

    "After some discussion the manager of the refinery (there is only one refinery on the island, which imports crude salt from various sources) simply asked: which salt is the better one, the unfluoridated or the fluoridated one? Confronted this way, everyone's answer was that fluoridated salt is preferrable because of its caries-preventive effect. The manager then stated that there is one basic principle, namely "never market an inferior product". He added that for those insisting in purchasing unfluoridated salt, the enterprise will keep unfluoridated salt on stock, but that all usual sales channels will be uniformly provided with fluoridated salt. Thus, the marketing principle was in complete agreement with the public health postulate, and this approach, leading to 'universal' salt fluoridation, was immediately adopted." (Marthaler, 2000)

   The World Health Organization (WHO) has a special web page on the salt fluoridation program in Jamaica. It cites a study which allegedly found that “ninety six percent of the children were fluorosis free, 4% had 'questionable' fluorosis and less than 1% had very mild to mild fluorosis. None of the children showed moderate or severe fluorosis.” (WHO, 2002) However, upon closer investigation one finds that the majority of children investigated were already 4 or 8 years old when the program started - well past the critical stage of enamel formation when dental fluorosis occurs!

   When children were investigated by other researchers - 12 years after fluoridated salt was introduced in Jamaica - 48% of the children had dental fluorosis (Meyer-Lueckel et al, 2002).


   In 1999 ALCOA was fined $1,000.000 for 100 violations of U.S. export regulations involving shipments of potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride. [“Potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride are controlled because they can be used to make chemical weapons.”]. Sodium fluoride was used for water fluoridation in Suriname.  Potassium fluoride is used in fluoridated salt in Jamaica.

Background Papers

WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme: Jamaica

WHO: Salt Fluoridation Programme to prevent dental caries in Jamaica

Marthaler TM- "Salt fluoridation: effectiveness against dental caries and practical results in Latin America and Europe" (2001)

Marthaler TM - “Salt fluoridation in Europe, comparisons with Latin America” 8th World Salt Symposium (2000); Volume 2: 1021-1026 (2000)

Meyer-Lueckel H, Satzinger T, Kielbassa AM - "Caries prevalence among 6- to 16-year-old students in Jamaica 12 years after the Introduction of salt fluoridation" Caries Res 36(3):170-3 (2002)  

ALCOA Jamaica/Suriname, Kaiser, as well as MEXICO Illegal Fluoride Exports (2002)
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