Reviewing the recent fluoride media in Australia, I’ve found that Coffs Harbour city councillors, noted in the article, Nan Cowling, have decided to raise the question of whether to continue water fluoridation to be discussed at the 2013 Local Government Association annual conference in October.
The three noted justifications for this were; cost; “Well, Queensland are doing it”; and a large population of elderly people.
It’s $65,000 a year, or $1.43 per person per year (with a population of 45,580 according to the 2011 Census for Coffes Harbour, Code UCL112004). Councillor Nan Cowling believes that tooth decay had more to do with access to dentistry, but can we access dentistry for less than $2 a year?
Even if you looked at Code SSC10553 (SSC) instead, the population is only 24,581 and yet the cost is still only $2.64 per person a year.
As I don’t know how much of the Coffs Harbour community is provided the water in question, we have a cost somewhere between $1.43 and and $2.64… Hardly bank busting.
Good in Queensland
In the words of mothers everywhere; “now, if Queensland were to jump of a cliff, would you jump as well?”
Firstly, Queensland has a problem of a very invasive memebase, more commonly known as “The Queenslanders for Safe Water, Air and Food” (QAWF), which has enjoyed success largely because Queenslanders have not had much exposure to fluoride – something new in their waters is scary… especially for their hydrangeas.
Most people in capital cities outside of Queensland don’t give fluoride much thought. They’ve lived with it for decades – including Sydney and Coffs Harbour – without concern.
QAWF is an anti-science movement that repeats debunked claims with complete disregard for counter-arguments and strong scientific evidence to the contrary. You really don’t want to encourage such thinking to propagate or else, before you know it, the Earth is 6000 years old and flat.
How Old is the Coffs Harbour Community?
The point that Coffs Harbour community is mainly elderly is utterly untrue. Again turning to the same 2011 Census data we find the following (very similar regardless of which of the two codes used);
You get a fairly even distribution across the ages, admittedly, but would you expect a far higher group for what is only the first quarter of an expected life span? Nan Cowling herself is on the aging end of the spectrum, which may do better to explain why she disregards more than 25% of the Coffs Harbour community (0-19 yo).
Moreover, fluoride assists with the remineralisation of teeth – a process which is not age discriminant. The entire Coffs Harbour community benefit from drinking water fluoridation – a process that costs them less than $3 each a year!
In essence, the Coffs Harbour city councillors have fallen prey to fear mongering propaganda, with no cost benefits and complete disregard not only for their younger community, but everyone within their region.