FLUORIDE will be pumped into southeast Queensland’s water supplies around-the-clock from today as the State Government steps up its oral health campaign.
Premier Anna Bligh said water treatment plants would produce an ongoing supply after fluoride powder was sporadically introduced in the past few weeks.
Almost 80 per cent of southeast households will have fluoride, with only Toowoomba, Caboolture, Redlands and pockets of the Sunshine Coast north of the Maroochy River to come.
Ms Bligh said the initiative would help combat the worst oral health in the nation, with 50 per cent of children under the age of six suffering decay. “Today, we start reversing this unnecessary statistic,” she said.
Despite her comments, the Government continues to receive complaints from worried residents about the controversial fluoridation decision.
Health Minister Stephen Robertson has received two petitions totalling almost 6000 signatures in the past month.
Mr Robertson said any suggestion fluoridation posed a health risk was unfounded.
“Queenslanders can be very secure in the knowledge that fluoride is not only safe, but a key ingredient to good oral health,” Mr Robertson said.
“There have been numerous studies and subsequent reviews which have confirmed the safety and effectiveness of water fluoridation in reducing dental decay for the whole population.”
All state water supplies will contain fluoride by 2012 under the $35 million project.