CALDERDALE’S most fanatical anti-fluoride campaigner, Dennis Edmondson, has died at 84.
A former council gardener and forester, he lived at Duck Hill, Pecket Well, Hebden Bridge.
Mr Edmondson began his crusade against putting fluoride indrinking water in 1975 and founded the Calderdale Citizens’ Protest Against Fluoridation. He organised a petition in 1977 signed by 23,000 people and spent thousands of his own money on scientific tests.
In the 1980s, fluoride was being added to supplies in Kirkless and half of Stainland and would have been extended to the rest of Calderdale had it not been for Mr Edmondson, who helped to persuade Yorkshire Water to call a halt. He claimed fluoride was to blame for stillbirths and infant deformities.
His determination often made him a thorn in the side of politicians whom he thought were not doing enough to highlight the dangers of the chemical.
During the last war, Mr Edmondson was in the King’s Royal Rifle Corp and he took part in a special exercise during which he was exposed to chlorine gas.
He told a Social Security tribunal in 1995 that it had caused a variety of medical ailments including asthma and osteoporosis and had made him impotent.
A friend of Mr Edmondson, Edward Priestley, who lives in France, said: “Dennis was very knowledgeable and a campaigner on many medical issues. I owe him a great debt.
“I phoned him every day and he told me the day before he died he was writing to the Courier on hypothyroidism, which he suffered from.”
Widespread public consultation has been promised on a study authorised a year ago into the feasibility of adding fluoride to all or selective water.