'Simply folded': Anger as expert snubbed in fluoride debate
FLUORIDE is no longer being added to Gladstone's water.
It's a move from our council that has had its praises sung by anti-fluoride residents and, on the other side of the debate, it has left a sour taste in health professionals' mouths.
Australian Dental Association member Michael Foley said it was a decision that should be "overturned".
Mr Foley, who will speak at a town-hall meeting about fluoride in Mackay this month, said residents should speak out if they wanted fluoride in their water.
Listen: Michael Foley says he is 'bitterly disappointed' in the decision:
Last Thursday the fluoride taps were turned back at Gladstone Area Water Board.
For Gladstone residents, this means the only fluoride in their tap water is naturally occurring.
Gladstone Regional Council said it could take "some time" for the fluoride to clear from water at Mt Larcom.
"They simply folded," Mr Foley said of the Gladstone council's decision.
In 2013, during the council's last vote, Mr Foley was invited to speak with councillors about the benefits of fluoride. But this year he was not contacted.
Gladstone's deputy mayor Chris Trevor says every councillor conducted research before voting, including sourcing information from Queensland Health.
Mr Foley said it would be five to 10 years before residents saw the impact of not having fluoridated water.
"Every dollar spent on water fluoridation not only gives you stronger teeth and better health but it also saves people money because they're spending less on dental," he said.
It's the first time since November 2009 that fluoride has not been topped up in Gladstone's water supply to the Queensland Health-recommended 0.7mg/L.
One Brisbane resident, who was pleased about Gladstone Regional Council's decision, was Fluoride Free Australia Facebook page administrator Colin Varian.
For two years Mr Varian has used a water filter to rid his H20 of fluoride.
He said he had no dental problems and felt healthier.
He was keeping a keen eye on Gladstone's decision and said "unjustly" his council still added fluoride to his city's water.
"Gladstone politicians are no longer poisoning the bloodstreams of residents. Councillors show their courage," he wrote on the Facebook page.
"I think it's important, especially for Gladstone, because there's already so much fluoride emitted in the air so it's good that it's not in the water any more."
This week the Gladstone Fluoride Free Facebook page shared its praises of the council's decision.
"I found, even with the filtered water, it's so much more palatable in the mouth," the host wrote.