Fit-again Aisling takes her case to court in bid to change decades-old legislation
Aisling Fitzgibbon has become know as The Girl Against Fluoride, and in a few weeks' time she plans to take a case through the courts against mandatory fluoridation of the water supply.
The 27-year-old occupational therapist from Tralee, Co Kerry, has practical experience of the effects of the chemical on her own health.
She told the Herald she had suffered from low moods and exhaustion for about four years.
"I was under the care of a medical doctor and had tried all kinds of detox and cleansing diets. I was at my wits' end. I thought there must be something really wrong," she said.
Aisling went to a nutritional therapist.
"She told me I could be sensitive to fluoride. She said not to use the water for drinking or cooking and to take magnesium and iodine supplements to help my thyroid," she said.
"That was the first time I'd ever heard about fluoride in the water. By the end of the first month my energy and my mood started coming up. It took seven months to recover fully."
A lawyer has agreed to help Aisling on a pro bono basis, and they plan to file the first part of the process within the next two months.
Aisling pointed out that although several councils have passed motions against fluoridation, they are powerless to take it out of the water system unless the law dating from 1960 is changed.
She is trying to "create massive public awareness" before the court case and has set up a website, www.thegirlagainstfluoride.com
She said she is not confident that the latest panel being set up by the Health Minister to review fluoridation will make a difference.
Aisling said every authority "passes the buck. Nobody wants the responsibility".
In her own case, Aisling has installed a "reverse osmosis" filter in her house to clear the fluoride from the water, but this is expensive and not an option for everyone.
"I can't drink tea or coffee away from home," she said.
Aisling's sensitivity to fluoride has also started her on a new career. She travels regularly to the UK where she is doing a course in nutrition therapy and specialising in the impacts of food nutrition on autism.