NINE out of 10 respondents oppose fluoride being added to Warrnambool’s water supply, a survey has found.
The verdict was an overwhelming “no” to the Department of Human Services’ decision to add fluoride to drinking water.
Of the 920 votes on The Standard website, 93 per cent rejected use of the chemical.
Another 500 residents provided mailed responses to the Talking Point survey.
Last month more than 800 fluoride opponents attended a rally demanding a community plebiscite on the issue.
Only four written responses favoured fluoride.
The previous Talking Point record was 531 votes in August 2006 as to whether a sex shop should be established in Warrnambool.
Australian Greens party Wannon campaign manager Jean Christie collected more than 100 signatures in Warrnambool’s CBD.
Anti-fluoride campaigner Peter Hulin praised the vote as an opportunity for the community to voice its concerns.
“They don’t want any medication in their water and they want the opportunity to say that,” he said.
Bryan Watt, 69, of Warrnambool, wrote: “Fluoride toothpaste cleans my teeth. Why shower, water the garden and wash clothes with fluoride?”
Alf Kent, 81, voted “no”, saying : “Don’t compare it with seatbelts – we don’t put them in our mouth.”
One anonymous fluoride supporter demanded fluoridation: “Please do it!”
Another said: “I took fluoride tablets at a young age – teeth are great!”
Warrnambool City Council did not return calls yesterday.
The council recently wrote to Department of Human Services asking why the decision to introduce fluoride had been made without a plebiscite.
A letter from Warrnambool City Council chief executive Lindsay Merritt quoted in The Standard earlier this month said the council understood people had “bona fide concerns” about fluoride.
“However,” the letter said, “it is also very likely that the majority of the community do not have any such concerns.”