THE CARRATHOOL and Murrumbidgee communities have demanded their councils put fluoride in the water amid revelations they are part of the 4 per cent of the state that goes without.
Angry locals expressed horror when learning they were in the tiny minority of the state who were denied access to the preventative medicine.
Fluoride is seen as the best way to prevent and reduce dental decay and has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation, National Health and Medical Research Council and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A mother from Hillston, Angela Mewburn, was shocked to hear that her drinking water didn’t have fluoride in it.
“It’s very concerning and I would certainly prefer that there was fluoride in the water,” Mrs Mewburn said.
“I hadn’t been told about it either, I had no idea we didn’t have it.
“When I was a child I took fluoride tablets, but I haven’t been worried about my children’s fluoride intake because no one told me I should be.”
Melinda Roberts, a Rankins Springs resident in the Carrathool shire, said she wouldn’t even bathe in the water let alone drink it but fluoride would be a good start.
“I worry for the health of my teeth because I used to have fluoride in Griffith but here we catch our own rain water and we drink that,” Ms Roberts said. “My mum and aunties and uncles lived in Rankins Springs all their lives and they have poor teeth and I’m worried I’m going that way.
“I would have assumed it was a basic right to have adequate drinking water with fluoride.”
Carrathool Shire mayor Peter Laird said the science he has seen suggests brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste once or twice a day is enough.
“When council made the decision around five years ago we had presentations from both sides of the argument and our main concern was the documented side-effects of teeth and bone problems, especially amongst the elderly,” Cr Laird said.
“We did a study with the community to gauge the feedback and generally speaking people didn’t want it.
“To my knowledge there haven’t been any adverse rumblings about it, it was accepted by the community and no-one has complained about the lack of fluoride.”
He went on to offer a starkly different account of the water quality to that of Ms Roberts from his shire.
“The quality of our water is excellent, it’s beautiful water.”