MARGARET Phillips has good reason to not want her water fluoridated – she believes she is allergic to it.
The Bayview Heights resident yesterday joined about 50 people outside Cairns MP Desley Boyle’s office protesting against forced fluoridation of Cairns’ water supply.
Cairns’ potable water supply will be fluoridated by December 31 while water supplies to areas with more than 1000 people will be fluoridated by December 31, 2010.
Cairns Regional Council initially resisted the move but was overturned by the State Government which requires all councils to fluoridate their water.
Cairns council opted to use sodium silicofluoride in its water treatment plants, with commissioning of fluoridation equipment starting yesterday.
Mrs Phillips, 58, claimed whenever she drank fluoridated water, she suffered from debilitating asthma.
Mrs Phillips said with Cairns’ water to be fluoridated, her only options were to move or install an expensive rainwater tank or a reverse osmosis water system for her home.
“We went to New Zealand three weeks ago,” Mrs Phillips said.
“The first week, I drank bottled water then we went way down the South Island, and we had two cups of coffee made with tap water.
“I had two weeks of not being able to function at all. It hit within six hours.
“I was drinking bottled water the whole way and I thought this house had tank water, when it happened to be fluoridated tap water.”
The Australian Dental Association dismisses any link between fluoride and asthma.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology also claims there is no evidence of allergy or intolerance to fluorides as used in the fluoridation of community water supplies.
Far North Queensland chairman of Queenslanders for Safe Water, Air and Food, Bill Kilvert, said there was a lack of evidence proving fluoride strengthened teeth.
“In Queensland, they say we’re a long way behind the rest of the country (in cutting tooth decay). We’re not,” Mr Kilvert said.
“We’re only behind New South Wales and Victoria by about 1 to 2 per cent, but (the Queensland Government) says 40 per cent.
Cairns MP Desley Boyle, who was in Brisbane yesterday, acknowledged the protesters, claiming their feelings were as strong as those within the community who wanted fluoridated water.
“I know the difference in the dental health of NSW children compared to Queensland children.
“I lived up here for ages and I don’t see and believe there is any evidence of damage to the people of Mareeba or Townsville who have long had fluoride in their water supplies.”
She said the State Government was proceeding with fluoridation of water supplies because it believed it reflected the majority view.