Dalyellup to receive fluoridated drinking water in June 2022

Fluoride free group speaks up amid Dalyellup water fluoridation

OVER 30 residents opposed to fluoride in their drinking water have vented their concerns just months before fluoride is set to be rolled out in Dalyellup's water supply.

On Friday, March 25, members of the Fluoride Free Bunbury group met at Guppy Park to discuss possible next steps in deterring the roll-out which follows Eaton and Australind being fluoridated late last year.

Dalyellup is scheduled to receive fluoridated drinking water via the Water Corporation in June, followed by Bunbury mid-next year from water company, Aqwest.

Fluoride Free Bunbury coordinator Joyce Bok confirmed to the Mail that the group stood against having artificial fluoride, including sodium fluoride and fluorosilicic acid, added to drinking water.

"The department of health states that the amount added is safe, but how can you control how much people drink?," Ms Bok said.

"We just think there's no need for it in our water because people can look after their teeth themselves with toothpaste containing fluoride, so why is it in the water?

"I'm concerned because there's a better way to protect against tooth decay, starting with education about what we eat and how we brush our teeth.

"This is about health - we have a human right to put fresh water into our bodies and achieve our biggest potentials as human beings."

Educating the masses: Fluoride Free Bunbury coordinator Joyce Bok with members of the group at Guppy Park. Picture: Pip Waller

Educating the masses: Fluoride Free Bunbury coordinator Joyce Bok with members of the group at Guppy Park. Picture: Pip Waller

Introduced to Western Australia in 1968, fluoride was originally added to drinking water to promote good dental health by helping prevent tooth damage and decay.

According to the Department of Health's website, Western Australia uses fluorosilicic acid (a compound of fluorine, hydrogen and silicon added to water as a liquid, dissolving to release fluoride ion) and sodium fluoride (fluorine and sodium, in a powdered form) to fluoridate water.

While levels of fluoride in drinking water differ across the state, the optimum level for the Perth metropolitan area is considered to be 0.9 milligrams of fluoride per litre, with a range of 0.7 to 1.0 milligrams.

A Department of Health spokesperson told the Mail that fluoridation of public drinking water supplies had made a "significant contribution" to improving the oral health of Western Australians.

The spokesperson also confirmed that Bunbury would only receive fluoride about 50 years after Perth as "until recently" Bunbury's drinking water supply had been sourced from multiple bores.

"So a recent amalgamation and simplification of Bunbury's water supply network now enables the introduction of fluoride in a cost effective and efficient manner," the spokesperson said.

Currently, 92 per cent of Western Australia's water supply is fluoridated.

Fluoride Free Bunbury will next draft a letter addressed to Minister for Water Dave Kelly and Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Andrew Robertson, opposing water fluoridation.