Yanchep now has fluoridated water but activist group unhappy with flow of communication

Stock image.
Stock image.

YANCHEP tapped into Perth’s main fluoridated water supply several weeks ago.

A Health Department spokeswoman confirmed this month that fluoridation of the suburb’s drinking water supply started in December.

Yanchep resident Melanie Waldron said she felt “bitterly let down” because Water Corporation had promised a public announcement as to when the fluoridation would take place.

The Yanchep Two Rocks Fluoride Free member said people were away or distracted by festivities when the process started between Christmas and the start of the new year.

“Dozens of very concerned community members phoned for a date only to be fobbed off by Water Corp to the Health Dept, each saying it was down to the other to let us know when fluoridation would commence,” she said.

“There has been an ongoing movement to call for public consultation.”

The department’s spokeswoman said there had been community consultation since 2011, including information sessions, media releases, a postal survey, information on the department’s website and media coverage.

“A statutory advertisement is also scheduled to be published in early February, along with advice to local dentists and medical practitioners servicing the area,” she said.

“Water fluoridation is an important, cost-effective public health measure which plays a critical role in reducing dental decay and improving oral health.

“Fluoridated drinking water particularly benefits children and those on a lower income as it is delivered directly into their home at no incremental cost.

“Fluoridation of water is backed by authoritative health research agencies and government bodies in Australia and worldwide, including the World Health Organization and the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia (NHMRC).

“More than 90 per cent of the Western Australian population, including the Perth metropolitan area, has benefited from fluoridation of water for more than 40 years.

“Yanchep had not previously received the public health benefits of fluoridated water as it was supplied from a local bore source that was not linked to the Perth metropolitan supply.

“Due to population growth in the area, the Yanchep water supply has been upgraded, and plant equipment to allow fluoridation was also incorporated.

“Water fluoridation is not currently planned for Two Rocks, which has a separate water supply to Yanchep.”

The spokeswoman said residents could find out more about the benefits of water fluoridation at healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/F_I/Fluoridated-drinking-water .

“Residents are also invited to find out about the latest NHMRC study, which echoes the results of numerous other studies around the world that have, repeatedly, found fluoridation of drinking water to be safe,” she said.

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