Fluoride will begin flowing out of the region’s water taps in as little as two months, according to a Geelong protest group.
Barwon Freedom From Fluoridation’s David McRae said Department of Human Services officials had warned his members to expect fluoride as early as July.
“A couple of people have rung the health department and have been told that,” Mr McRae said.
“One person who rang was told it would actually be earlier and another said on the first of the month.”
The group has been placing advertisements in newspapers warning of the impending date and the dangers of fluoride, while recruiting residents to oppose fluoridation.
“They (authorities) should send a letter or something out at least a couple of weeks before for those people who know they have to get some filtering of their water,” Mr McRae said.
Barwon Water referred the Independent’s questions about the starting date for fluoridation to a government department official.
Department of Human Services spokesperson Bram Alexander said he could only confirm fluoride would be in Geelong’s water in the “second half of the year”.
The department planned to sell the benefits of fluoridation to the community.
“Our belief is that fluoride is safe and effective,” Mr Alexander said.
State Government would provide residents with “information” on supplements to overcome allergies.
Point Lonsdale resident Robert Doherty said he was preparing for a lifetime of bottled water.
Mr Doherty, a former Australian soldier, said that during the Vietnam War he suffered exposure to chemicals including the herbicide Agent Orange, which had since been linked to deaths and disabilities.
He said he discovered the chemical was a “bad mix” with fluoride when he suffered side effects after drinking fluoridated Melbourne water in cups of coffee at work.
“There were spots on my arms and they were like a little mountains. They were red, itchy and all over my skin.”
Mr Doherty said he struggled to last three minutes in the shower because heating fluoridated water concentrated the fluoride.