FOR FLUORIDE: North Queensland Public Health specialist Dr Steven Donohue and director of Brisbane Dental Hospital Michael Foley believe fluoridation of water is vital.
FOR FLUORIDE: North Queensland Public Health specialist Dr Steven Donohue and director of Brisbane Dental Hospital Michael Foley believe fluoridation of water is vital. Lee Constable

Leading dentist says anti-fluoride beliefs were ludicrous

WACKY conspiracy theories led to the decision to remove fluoride from the Rockhampton region's water supply, a leading dentist says.

Dr Michael Foley, spokesman for the Australian Dental Association, said there was a perception that fluoride caused cancer and made bones brittle; however what many people did not know was that all water contained some level of fluoride.

His comments come after 55% of the more than 300 people who voted in The Morning Bulletin's online poll called for fluoride to be reintroduced into the region's water supply.

Dosing of fluoride was removed from Rockhampton and Mt Morgan's water supply in July last year.

Dr Foley said the anti-fluoride beliefs were ludicrous and insulting to health professionals and scientific bodies.

The World Health Organization, The Australian Medical Association and The Australian Dental Association all back water fluoridation.

Dr Foley said they would not support it if they thought it caused health problems.

He said there was no "conspiracy theory" to set out and poison residents.

Do you want to see fluoride reintroduced into Rockhampton water?

This poll ended on 22 August 2014.

Current Results

Yes

46%

No

53%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"There is ample evidence that indicates that fluoride in our water supply is highly effective at reducing tooth decay, just take a look at the results in the Queensland Child Oral Health Survey.

"There is approximately .1 parts per million of fluoride in our water, however this needs to sit at .7 or thereabouts in order for it to be effective in reducing tooth decay."

Dr Foley foresees thousands of Rockhampton children receiving fillings and extractions, unlike their counterparts in other areas who have fluoridated water.

Dr Foley said the council's interest should be for its residents but it had been bombarded with anti-fluoride theories and had "run scared".

"Queensland Health offered to meet with them to discuss the benefits of fluoride in water however they chose not to take up the offer," he said.

Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow fired back.

"Dr Foley would do well to do a little research and read comments made by councillors themselves before he makes public statements about the reason why councillors - after considering both sides of the argument - voted against fluoride in the water," Cr Strelow said.

"His ill-informed reactionary comments are an example of the type of behaviour which has contributed to this issue being such an emotive one within the broader community.

"I would have expected better from a man in his position."



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