Australian news, and some related international items

Urgent need for public education and action on fluoridation of Queensland’s water

New Queensland Health data shows 3223 children aged 10 and under required hospital treatment in 2013-14 for dental caries (the scientific term for tooth decay or cavities).

More than 51 per cent of Queensland five to 10-year- olds who attended public dental clinics in 2014-15 had decay in their baby teeth. On average, four teeth were affected.

Decay in Queensland children aged five to 10 was 20 per cent higher than national averages to 2012-14 and 33 per cent higher in the permanent teeth of nine to 14-year-olds.

Queensland’s Chief Dentist Dr Mark Brown said he was concerned by the “high level of tooth decay” in children, describing it as “a significant problem”.

In terms of population, about three-quarters of the state has water fluoridation – up from less than 5 per cent before the Bligh government made fluoridated water supplies mandatory for communities of more than 1000 people in 2008.

But since 2012, changes made under former premier Campbell Newman have allowed councils to pull out of fluoridating water supplies.

“My concern is for the quarter of the population in regional and rural Queensland who don’t have access to fluoridation,” Dr Brown said. “That community is being left behind when most Australians now have access to water fluoridation.”.

Australian Dental Association state fluoride spokesman Dr Michael Foley said there was no doubt water fluoridation reduced the risk of decay.

  “We’re spending a fortune on general anaesthetics for kids with dental decay,” he said. “It’s stupid. Water fluoridation saves truckloads of money in saved dental costs.”

Dr Foley said he would like to see the State Government take control of fluoridating drinking water, rather than local councils.

Meanwhile, Aurukun Shire Council is the latest local government to pull out of fluoridating its water supply.

The Cape York indigenous council has voted to stop adding fluoride to the town’s drinking water, mainly due to a lack of resources or local support.

The decision comes as new Queensland Health figures show 71 per cent of indigenous children aged between four and 15 at public dental health clinics in 2015 had tooth decay.

The move places Aurukun alongside two other councils, Mackay and Gladstone, that have opted out of the practice since the March elections.

Australian Dental Association state president Julee Birch said smaller councils were being “bombarded with misinformation about water fluoridation”.

“This is part of a highly co-ordinated national and international campaign to get them to remove fluoride from water supplies,” Dr Birch said.

The ADA estimates it costs about $1 per resident every year to fluoridate a water supply but only 23 of the state’s 77 local councils still do it.

Townsville estimates it costs as little as 60¢ per person.

Hinchinbrook Shire Council Mayor Ramon Jayo said any move to remove fluoride would be based on a poll result.

“For every person who tells us it’s bad, we have someone else tell us they’re in favour,” he said. “It’s a very divisive issue.”

In a move to stop councils opting out, the State Government last month announced it would resume funding infrastructure costs for fluoridating water supplies.

CAROLINE Hook has to work harder than most to make sure her children have healthy teeth.

The Mudgeeraba mother-of-three’s house runs on tank water, meaning the family doesn’t have fluoridated drinking water.

Instead, on the advice of her dentist, she gives her daughters Emily, 7, and twins Anna and Chloe, 5, adult toothpaste with fluoride to help protect their teeth.

“When my sister and I were little our parents gave us fluoride tablets and we’ve got really great teeth. That’s why I gave them an adult toothpaste right from when they started getting teeth,” she said.

Mackay GP Therese Sheedy can relate. The mother-of-two is considering giving fluoride drops to her children after her council decided to stop adding fluoride to the town’s drinking water supply.

“Fluoride drops are only available from the US and they have to be made up by a compounding pharmacy,” she said. “In Mackay, (there are) two pharmacies who can provide this service.

“Both quote approximately $90 for a 100ml bottle of fluoride drops which they estimate will only last two weeks. They will only provide this with an ongoing prescription from our dentist.

“This would come to an annual cost of $2160 for one child.”


November 14, 2016 - Posted by | health, Queensland


  1. Fluoride is highly toxic and a cumulative poison, like lead, arsenic, and mercury. I have asked many forced-fluoridation fanatics to tell me how much accumulated fluoride in the body they think is safe. So far not a single one of them has been able to answer the question.

    It is unlikely to just be a coincidence that the US, Australia, and Ireland, which have had high rates of forced-fluoridation for decades, also have high rates of joint problems, and poor health outcomes in general.


    Comment by Dan Germouse | November 14, 2016 | Reply

    • I publish your comment with reluctance. I have spent many long hours researching the fluoridation issue. Not that I expect you to believe me, but I do not have time or inclination to try to persuade you.

      There has never been a public health matter so thoroughly successful as fluoridation, except perhaps, in the case of iodised salt or bread, where there is a deficiency of iodine.

      If you want to believe that fluoridation of water is harmful, then you must ignore the professional opinion of all the reputable dental authorities worldwide.

      It’s a bit like vaccination, which has saved so many lives, and protects our children from the scourges of so many diseases, taht used to wipe them out a century ago. But anti vaccination enthusiasts still persist, despite the evidence.

      I could tear my hair out, that as an anti -nuclear campaigner, I find myself associated with these two anti-science, anti-intellectual movements. Anti vaccination, anti-fluoridation – I will have none of this nonsense!


      Comment by Christina MacPherson | November 14, 2016 | Reply

  2. Christina, you are right on target. The nonsense antifluoridationists post all over the internet is deplorable. Most of it, such as what Germouse posted here, is just copy/paste blurbs they post verbatim after fluoridation articles. Ironically, while you have rightfully published his comment here, he censors out pro fluoridation comments on his own biased little site, the “forced fluoridation, etc”. That censorship is the rule on those antifluoridationist sites speaks volumes about the total lack of confidence they have in their position, and their fear of accurate information.

    The antifluoridationists will, undoubtedly, decend on your comment section here, like a pack of hyenas, pasting the same, verbatim junk they post willy-nilly all over the internet. There is not an argument they can make that I have not seen and refuted with facts and evidence, dozens, if not hundreds of times each, as will I and other fluoridation proponents do here.

    In regard to Germouse’s claims, as has been repeatedly explained to him:

    1. The amount of fluoride stored in hard tissues is not a linear constant. It fluctuates in accordance with its equilibrium with plasma levels of fluoride. Plasmas levels are determined by fluoride intake. The US Institute of Medicine has established the daily upper limit of total fluoride intake to be 10 mg before adverse effects will occur short or long term. Below the level of chronic daily fluoride intake of 10 mg, adverse effects are not known to occur. The first disorder risked by chronic daily intake of 10 mg or more fluoride, is skeletal fluorosis, a disorder so rare in the 74.7% fluoridated US as to be nearly non-existent.

    Given that the CDC has estimated 75% of total fluoride intake to be from water and beverages, a simple math equation demonstrates that before the daily upper limit could be attained in association with optimally fluoridated water, water toxicity would be the concern, not fluoride.

    2. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that optimally fluoridated water in any manner causes “joint problems and poor health outcomes in general”… evidenced by Germouse’s inability to produce any such evidence.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Information Director
    American Fluoridation Society


    Comment by Steve Slott | November 14, 2016 | Reply

  3. Heartfelt thanks, Steve Scott, for your comment. I fear that we are moving into an age of anti-science, which is very worrying, from the public health point of view, among others.

    As criticism of the “elites” rises, confusion rises about public health. It becomes more and more important for health professionals to have the guts to speak out plainly. So – your comment is much appreciated.


    Comment by Christina MacPherson | November 15, 2016 | Reply

  4. Keep doing what you’re doing, Christina. It makes a difference.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Information Director
    American Fluoridation Society


    Comment by Steve Slott | November 15, 2016 | Reply

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