PEOPLE would have to drink a bathtub of fluoridated water in a day to be poisoned, the State Government said yesterday.
As it prepares to start adding the anti-tooth-decay compound to Queensland’s water at the end of the year, the Government is taking steps to reassure the public that it is safe.
Health Minister Stephen Robertson said the Government had to gain public confidence in fluoride, although he acknowledged some people would never be convinced of the benefits.
“There is strong support, but we do not want to take that for granted,” he said.
Mr Robertson said legislation would be introduced next month outlining the framework for the addition of fluoride to drinking water.
He said there would be legal guidelines setting the standard for water quality and an appropriate water-testing regime would be put in place.
“We want it so people can see that fluoridation plants are operating within proper guidelines,” he said.
Premier Anna Bligh announced in December that the Government would fluoridate water, but could not act until it had taken responsibility from councils for bulk water supply. It means southeast Queensland will start drinking fluoridated water at the end of the year, as well as areas of Cairns, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton and Toowoomba.
By 2012, about 90 per cent of the state will have fluoridated water.
“Together with oral hygiene and good nutrition, fluoridation has been proven to reduce tooth decay by up to 40 per cent, and a ‘Smart State’ cannot ignore the extensive scientific evidence that shows fluoridation is the missing link in Queensland’s oral health system,” Ms Bligh said.
Members of lobby group Queenslanders Against Water Fluoridation said they were planning legal action against Ms Bligh, as well as protesting outside Parliament next month.
QAWF’s Jeanie Ryan, a Brisbane dietitian, said the Government needed to be stopped.
“Fluoride is a poison and it is unacceptable to be medicating the water with this and forcing everyone to drink it,” she said.
“Our main concern is that babies under six months aren’t supposed to have any fluoride.
“What we will see as a result, is children growing up with an IQ of less than 100, who are struggling to keep a job.”