MARANOA Regional Council has promised to investigate fluoridation of local water as Queensland Health offers to discuss the health benefits of fluoridation with every council.
Council’s director – infrastructure services Barry Omundson said that as legislation has changed, the council would review its position on fluoridation soon.
“If council decided to fluoridate Roma’s water supply, it would be estimated to cost between $6million and $12million, depending on the type of works required,” Mr Omundson said.
“Council would be heavily dependent on receiving funding for the implementation and ongoing costs of the project.
“Ongoing costs will not be funded by the state government as financial support would cease in June 2014.”
Mr Omundson said fluoride naturally occurs in the council’s bore water in towns across the region, already meeting or exceeding the minimum levels required.
The Water Fluoridation Act 2008 required suppliers to add fluoride to water suppliers of at least 1000 people and Maranoa is prescribed to have 0.8mg/L fluoride concentration.
Dentist Hezel Cohen of Roma Dental Centre said fluoridation was especially useful for young people.
“There is a superficial benefit to adults but for young kids two to four years of fluoride makes their teeth more resistant to decay,” Mr Cohen said.
“But we also need to look at every factor including oral hygiene and diet.”
Meanwhile Queensland’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said changes to Queensland’s legislation means local governments now had the decision-making power to determine whether to implement, continue or cease fluoridation.
“In the small amounts that are used in water supplies, fluoride is not harmful to people’s health,” Dr Young said.
“There is no evidence to show fluoride, in the amounts used in water supplies, has any detrimental health effects.
“In fact, studies have shown that people with good dental health have better overall health.”