MOUNT Gambier MP Don Pegler is convinced residents will not suffer any adverse impacts from consuming fluoridated Blue Lake water after meeting with SA Health water quality principal Dr David Cunliffe yesterday.

Mr Pegler questioned the health expert after discussing fluoridation with various people on both sides of the argument in Mount Gambier.

“I have looked into it thoroughly and I can assure residents that if it was bad, I would be the first one to stop it,” Mr Pegler said.

“I have made my decision on the fact there is anecdotal evidence that fluoride reduces tooth decay.”

Mr Pegler said he had asked questions on the testing process of fluoride, how the chemical was sourced and about possible adverse health effects.

“They told me that the fluoride used in our water is a byproduct from the fertiliser industry; they dig it up from the ground and it is one of the chemicals that naturally occurs in fertiliser,” he said.

“Rigorous tests are done on it before it is added to water and only small, safe amounts of 1mg per litre are added.”

Mr Pegler said there was no difference between “natural” and “chemical fluoride”.

“Fluoride is a chemical that occurs naturally in the ground,” he said.

“To say they are two different things is like saying that iron we get from green vegetables is good, but iron we get from the dirt is bad?—?vegetables get iron out of the ground.”

Fluoride sceptics claim that the chemical could cause skeletal and dental fluorisis, but Mr Pegler said evidence indicated that these conditions occurred only in countries where the dosage was too high.

“There is problems with skeletal fluorosis in countries such as India and Kenya where between 35 and 50mg of naturally occurring fluoride have been measured in water, but the dosage is too low here to cause any problems,” Mr Pegler said.