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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, August 31, 2007

Australia - Geelong - Survey: referendum would fail Even split on fluoride

The region is evenly split on support for fluoridation, according to an Independent survey. The results mean State Government’s plans to fluoridate Barwon Water’s service area would fail usual referendum models, which require significant majorities. State Government has announced it will fluoridate the region when it connects Geelong to Melbourne’s water supply in 2011. Fluoridation opponents have called for a referendum before the Govern-ment goes ahead with the connection.
The Independent’s random phone poll on Wednesday night of 100 residents in Barwon Water’s service area found 36 respondents supported fluoridation, 36 opposed it and 28 were undecided or did not care. The poll covered Barwon Water’s service area, from Torquay to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. Supporters of fluoridation who wanted to comment all said it would improve dental health in the region.
Many supporters had moved to the region from fluoridated areas. “We moved here from Tasmania where there was a very bad dental record for children but once fluoride was introduced the dental health improved no end,” a Clifton Springs respondent said.
“We spent 32 years there and it was nearly impossible to get in to see a dentist but it was easy after the fluoride came in.” A respondent who had lived in Holland while the country used fluoridation also based his support on personal experience.
“There was no problem with teeth and all my kids still have no teeth problems,” the respondent said. Opponents citied perceived health risks and freedom of choice.
A Moolap respondent said he was acutely aware of the threats of fluoride from his workplace where manufacturing processes produced the chemical as a by-product.
“I work at Alcoa and we get consistently urine-tested for fluoride poisoning. It’s not good stuff at all,” he said. “The last thing everyone out there wants is fluoride in their water.” Other opponents threatened to take action against fluoridation such as cutting off water supplies or leaving the region. “If people want fluoride then they should get it themselves,” a respondent said. Respondents who were undecided or who did not care about fluoridation ranged from the elderly who no longer worried about their dental health to people who said they did not know enough about fluoride to make a decision.

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