Fluoride debate hits hills

From left: Geoff Pain, Ella, Katherine Holmes and Tanya Smith are among 500 people in the Dandenong Ranges concerned about the inclusion of Fluoride into drinking water,

By Derek Schlennstedt

Fluoride will soon be added to the water supplied to parts of Kallista, Macclesfield, Menzies Creek, Monbulk, The Patch, Avonsleigh, Clematis, Cockatoo, Emerald and Gembrook.
According to the Yarra Valley Water website, the adding of fluoride is to bring the area’s water supply in line with the rest of Melbourne, though; some residents are concerned about its introduction to the water supply.
Tanya Smith from Silvan said residents were informed of the change by a letter received in the mail, a few months ago.
“Probably about one and half to two months ago, and not all residents got it … the first thing that came into my mind was if we haven’t had it all this time, then why are they putting it in now?” said Tanya.
According to the Yarra Valley Water website ‘moving to a fluoridated water supply will provide dental health benefits for customers in these suburbs, and a spokesperson from the Department of Health and Human Services said that Yarra Ranges had the highest rate in the Eastern Metropolitan Region of emergency department presentations for dental abscesses.
The spokesperson said introducing fluoride was also a fair way of delivering the benefits of fluoride to the community, regardless of individual age, education, income or motivation.
The new fluoridation plant is expected to be been constructed between April and July 2018, and customers will start receiving fluoridated water supply from September 2018.
Though, not everyone wants it and Dr Geoff Pain, who has written a PHD on fluorine chemistry and been heavily involved in ensuring the Dandenong Ranges stays fluoride free spoke of its alleged risks.
“We’re talking about a neurotoxin and the official medical advice from pharmacy companies is for a pregnant woman to have as close to zero fluoride intakes as you can possibly manage each day,” he said.
“A lot of people came and moved into the hills area for the clean living.”
That was especially true for Katherine Holmes who moved from Ferntree Gully to Emerald to seek out that cleaner living.
“I wanted to live in area where I could have a shower and not ingest fluoride,” said Katherine about the move.
Thought a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, said that in the doses provided it wouldn’t have any negative health effects.
“The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has undertaken a review … the review shows that community water fluoridation within the range 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L (the level used across Australia) does not cause any negative health effects,” the spokesperson said.
Since the announcement locals have rallied against the introduction of Fluoride in their water and the Clean Water for the Hills Facebook page is holding a Mass Meditation on Sunday 25 at Burrinja from 11am to 2pm.
The Mass mediation is all about saying ‘no to forced fluoridation of the hills water’ and a ‘Stop water fluoridation in the Dandenong Ranges’ petition has been created which has attracted over 500 signatures and can be found at http://bit.ly/2FTVjlh