THE State Government has given the green light to the fluoridation of water supplies in Mildura, Irymple, Merbein and Red Cliffs.
Victoria’s chief health officer Dr John Carnie yesterday said the final decision had now been made.
It is expected fluoride will be introduced to our water supplies early next year.
“The dental health benefits of fluoridated water supplies are proven – all the medical and scientific research validates its use,” Dr Carnie said.
“Research from Australia’s peak health research and advice body, the National Health and Medical Research Council, confirms that fluoridation of drinking water remains the most effective and socially equitable way of providing all community members with the benefits of fluoride.
“Another report, released in December 2007 by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, says children in Australia have better oral health than children in many other countries, due largely to fluoridated water.
“Water fluoridation is safe and effective and helps protect everybody’s teeth against decay regardless of age, gender, income or education levels.
“In particular, in Australia, children living in fluoridated areas experience considerably less dental decay than children living in non-fluoridated areas.”
Lower Murray Water has been requested by the Secretary of the Department of Human Services to fluoridate the drinking water supply for Mildura, Irymple, Merbein and Red Cliffs.
“Lower Murray Water customers in the Mildura area received information about water fluoridation and were also encouraged to seek further information from their dentist, GP, pharmacist or maternal and child health nurse or through a special toll free information line,” Dr Carnie said.
“In September two community information sessions were held in Mildura giving residents the opportunity to ask a range of experts questions about water fluoridation.
“The decision to fluoridate Mildura’s drinking water supply has been taken following the provision of information to these communities about fluoridation.”
The Northern Mallee Primary Care Partnership, Mallee Division of General Practice, Mildura Base Hospital, Mildura Private Hospital, Sunraysia Community Health Service and public dental program, Tankard Dental, Dr Allan Coveney Mildura Orthodontics, Danenberg Dental Surgery, Lime Dental, Dr Jamie Harris and Associates, Sunraysia Community Infection Control Committee and Dr Peter Talbot – specialist public health physician – have all openly supported the fluoridation process.
The communities will be kept informed about timing and further information is available by calling 1800 651 723. Additional information is available by visiting www.health.vic.gov.au/environment/water/fluoridation.htm.