WHETHER you think it’s mass medication without consultation or necessary for healthy teeth, the countdown to fluoridation is on, with water in Stanthorpe and Warwick due to be treated by December 31.
The Daily News reported last month that Allora and Killarney water will not be fluoridated because they have populations less than 1000.
However, Queensland Health’s rollout in the southeast is on track in our bigger towns with a detailed design of the project to be completed by the end of this month.
In October council will award a building contract with the fluoridation equipment due to arrive in November for the December start.
With the imminent deadline, Southern Downs residents’ opinions are still split.
Local dentist and fluoride advocate, Dr Mike Geisel, said both adults and children benefit from water fluoridation.
“Some people suggest giving fluoride tablets but that’s only effective up to age 12 and even then, it’s still not as effective as water fluoridation,” he said.
Dr Geisel said it was cost effective, socially equitable health care, meaning people who would normally struggle to afford dental treatment could still benefit.
He added that people shouldn’t expect overnight results and it could take up to five years to see the benefits.
Former councillor and anti-fluoride stalwart, Trevor Cooper, is in no doubt fluoridation is a mistake.
He thinks it’s wrong to mass-medicate without consent and is concerned about the potential impact of fluoride on the environment and health.
He argues fluoridating 100 percent of the water supply, while less than two percent is actually drunk, is inefficient.
“I would also like to know how much it will cost the ratepayers,” he said.
Allora man Peter Morton, though relieved the town is escaping fluoridation, said he was still concerned about the rollout of the scheme.
“So many countries have banned it; there must be a reason for that,” he said.
“I just think if there are any doubts about it, we shouldn’t do it.”