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December 9, 2021

Complaint lodged against Rous Water GM over fluoride

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Anti fluoride protesters outside Rous Water yesterday. (Picture Robert Hearne)
Anti fluoride protesters outside Rous Water yesterday. (Picture Robert Hearne)

By Darren Coyne

A formal complaint has been lodged against Rous Water’s general manager after he declared a councillor’s notice of motion ‘unlawful’.

Lismore’s Rous Water delegate Cr Vanessa Ekins was planning to move a motion calling for the suspension of fluoride until the National Health and Medical Research Council had completed a review of fluoride concentration levels.

At the moment Rous is putting one milligram per litre, which was the 1970s standard, while world best practise standard now is 0.7 milligrams per litre.

But with a noisy protest taking place outside, general manager Kyme Lavelle declared that he had legal advice saying the motion was unlawful because it ‘hindered a direction from the NSW Department of Health’.

Cr Ekins told Echonetdaily that the legal advice was ‘simplistic’.

‘Suspending fluoride is a normal procedure and all it requires is writing to the Department of Health requesting a suspension,’ she said.

Cr Ekins said Richmond Valley Council had written to the Department twelve times in the last two years asking for a suspension because of mistakes with the fluoridation levels of Casino’s water supply.

‘I’ll be putting in a formal complaint with the Department of Local Government against the GM and putting the same motion forward at next month’s meeting,’ she told Echonetdaily.

Meanwhile, Cr Robert Mustow from Richmond Valley Council, was elected the chair of Rous Water yesterday after former chair Sue Meehan, from Ballina council, failed to declare herself a candidate for the position.

Cr Meehan riled anti-fluoride activists recently when she inadvertently copied Cr Ekins into a message intended for Rous general manager Kyme Lavelle.

The email was in response to Cr Ekin’s intention to move a motion at the next meeting of Rous Council calling for the suspension of fluoridation.

‘Kyme this is just bluff and bluster from the lips of our sworn enemy of fluoride…Do not spend any money complying with Vanessa’s BS!!!!
I am SO over her and the whole bunch of them!!! Sue,’ the email said.

Cr Meehan did not respond to a call from Echonetdaily.

Cr Ekins said she would not be lodging a complaint against Cr Meehan but would be using a transcript of the email exchange in her complaint against the GM.

‘For a general manager to rule that a councillor cannot fulfill their duty is wrong. I had to ask for the legal advice at the meeting which I wasn’t impressed about,’ she said.

The Echonetdaily reported last week that fluoride dosing plants around the region had now been switched on.

Cr Ekins said general manager Kyme Lavalle had told Rous Water delegates that problems were already being experienced at the Clunes dosing plant because of the low levels of water use.

‘The GM told us today that Clunes was problematic because demand for water there was so slow and as a result it’s really difficult to get the concentrations right,’ she said.

‘That sort of thing doesn’t give you much faith in the system.’


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  1. Data from the World Health Organization shows that the tooth decay rate in Europe with 3% fluoridation is as good as or better than any fluoridated country including the U.S., with over 70% fluoridation. That shows just how ineffective fluoride is for teeth.

    Fluoride is dangerous to health.
    To see why it (hydrofluorosilicic acid) is dangerous, Google “Fluoride dangers” and read a few of the over 1,000,000 articles, many by M.D.’s, dentists and medical scientists.

    • The statement from the WHO does not show the ineffectiveness of fluoride at all. Tooth decay rate is affected by many other factors such as access to dental care, affordability of dental care, socio-economic status, diet, access to high quality dentistry products (tooth brushes, tooth paste, floss, mouth wash) and dental education from school, society, parents e.g. brushing technique, frequency.

      The US has higher costs than Europe, higher dentist to patient ratios and a higher proportion of the population in lower socio-economic groups. Considering these factors you can’t definitively say that fluoride is ineffective. It’s also a faulty comparison.

      Source – http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-102/issue-9/features/dentistry-around-the-world.html

      Hydrofluorosilicic acid can be dangerous, as can most chemicals, especially when it is in a concentrated form. Many household cleaning products, adhesives etc… come with warning labels, MSDS information, poison information and cautions such as “Do not use in confined spaces” and “if ingested do not induce vomiting”. Doesn’t mean that they are bad, just means there is a correct and appropriate way to use them.

      However, hydrofluorosilicic acid is not used by Rous Water, sodium fluoride is. It is stated on their website – http://www.rouswater.nsw.gov.au/cp_themes/default/page.asp?p=DOC-BSP-08-83-64.
      Is sodium fluoride dangerous? Depends on the application. If you shoved your head into a bucket of it I don’t image it would be great. When you add it to water at the low concentration of 1 part per million, the danger is non-existent.

      The thing with the internet is that literally any person can create a website, call themselves a doctor and say whatever they like. Just because you read it on the internet doesn’t make it true, correct, and in the appropriate context. If people want to know more, by all means use google (but preferably google scholar – don’t know what that is, google it), but exercise some critical thinking and be aware of your own confirmation bias. Don’t get all your information from one source – look to professionals and reputable scientific sites.

      • Everyone wants safe, clean water and not the added drug fluoride (actually industrial waste hydrofluosilicic acid) added without consent.

        The solution for the fluoridation issue is very simple.
        1. Take the toxic waste fluoride chemical out of the drinking water.
        2. It is still legal and available, so those who wish to take it can then put fluoride in their own glass of water (as much as they wish).
        3. Leave the rest of us out of it, giving everyone the freedom of choice.

        • Fluoride is not a drug and as I’ve mentioned Rous Water does not use hydrofluosilicic acid.

          When you live in a society, the individual often sacrifices a small amount of personal freedom for the health and safety of the community as a whole. This is why we have speed limits, blood alcohol limits and mandatory vaccination. “I’ve been driving for 30 years and never had an accident. The speed limits were changed without my consent. Why should I have to drive slower?”. Same argument.

          Water fluoridation as scientific evidence over 60 + years supporting its benefits to public health.

          1. Toxicity depends on dosage. If you drink too much water you can die, does that make water toxic? When sodium fluoride is added to the water the fluoride ions separate and that is what comes out of the tap. At 1 part per million there are no adverse health effects. Less sensationalisation about “chemicals” and more understanding of chemistry.

          2. This is true. But not everyone has access to and the money to afford such products, especially indigenous and low socio-economic groups. Fluoridating the drinking supply does not discriminate based on socio-economic status and has a higher net benefit for those groups that are more affected by adverse dental health.

          3. You have the choice not to drink your tap water. But that choice has consequences – more than likely a cost on the user. Fluoride is odourless, colourless and tasteless while providing a benefit to all people.

    • Jwillie

      1. You confuse “Fluoride Action Network” twisting of WHO data, as being that which “data from the Word Health Organization shows”.

      2. Hydrofluorosilic acid does not exist at the tap in fluoridated water. It is not ingested. It is of no concern, whatsoever. It will be difficult for “MDs, dentists, and medical scientists” to explain how a substance which is not ingested and does not come into contact with consumers, is “dangerous to health”.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

  2. Will the Council monitor the water fluoride levels daily, and check the humans, as well?

    Will the Council be paying for monitoring the health of every resident?
    Every 6 mths I get blood fluoride tests, urine fluoride tests, thyroid function tests and kidney function tests done, all bulk billed (costs Medicare about $220).

    People at most risk of harm, are the young, the old, the pregnant, and people in ill health, especially people with kidney problems and people with thyroid problems.

    After about 6 months ask the Council to pay for Hair Analysis, not bulk billed though and about $130 per test.

    • Colin

      There is no valid oeer-reviewed scientific evidence of any “harm” to “the young, the old, the pregnant, and people in ill health, especially in people with kidney problems and people with thyroid problems” from optimal level fluoride…….as evidenced by your inability to provide any such evidence.

      Why would the Council pay for “Hair analysis” in regard to a substance which has no adverse effects? I suppose the “logic” of that fits right in with rest of antifluoridationist nonsense.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS

  3. Speaking of ‘Unlawful’. Even if it is ‘good for you’, how is it EVER ‘Lawful’, to Force Medicate any One, let alone Enmasse?

    • Fluoridating the drinking water supply is not mass medication. Fluorine (the element form of fluoride) is the 13th most abundant element in the earth crust. Because of this, lots of water sources are naturally fluoridated at low levels. When a water authority fluorides the water, they are adjusting the natural levels to a point (1 part per million) that provides a benefit to public health.

      “Governments have a responsibility to make decisions for the greater public good. Examples in public health include the chlorination of drinking water to prevent water-borne illnesses and the mandatory addition of folic acid, thiamine and iodized salt to bread in Australia to prevent spina bifida, neurological illnesses, goitre and the mental retardation associated with iodine deficiency. Our communities readily accept these and water fluoridation as simple, sensible, and highly effective public health measures.”

  4. Very concerned about Clunes residents not been warned of the ‘problematic’ dosing concentration,

    Also that Casino has had to suspend operations 12 times due to dosing problems,

    Sometimes the bigger scandal in this fluoride debate is the massive cover up of the systemic break down and accidents occurring at fluoride plants,

    I strongly recommend that house holders should get analysis kits from a water testing laboratory (SCU or Wollongnbar ) and get their tap water tested for Fluoride,

    We have tested pre fluoride tap water levels at .01

  5. The water authority (or council) should have the courage and accountability to publish the fluoride tests on the water, at various locations, on a very regular basis. it is not good enough to just tell a newspaper ‘the fluoride levels are within acceptable limits’. How much over the target amount have they gone?

    There are two big variables here which can collide in a nasty way.
    Variable 1. The varying concentration of fluoride in the water, particularly when equipment, or monitoring of equipment is substandard.
    Variable 2. The amount of water that individuals consume, by way of drinks including tea and coffee from the kettle, cooking with water, and other intakes. Some families more or less fry and bake all their meals, others make soups and stews and consume a lot of extra water. Plus there is hot weather and outdoor work or sports which can cause many, particularly the young, to guzzle massive amounts of water across a day. It is very easy to get into the ‘danger zone’ for fluoride consumption in these circumstances.
    Council warnings to consumers about this are inadequate and negligent.

    • The target amount is 1 part per million (which is equivalent to 1mg/L). The Fluoride code of practice recommends 0.6 – 1.1 mg/L with a maximum level of 1.5 mg/L to account for subtle variations that may occur in the mixing and distribution processes and in places where water intake may be higher. As long as the fluoride levels are withing these parameters there is nothing to be worried about. http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/water/Documents/fluoridation-questions-and-answers-nsw.pdf

      That being said, if the target amount is exceeded, there is little to no danger. The Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand (including recommended dietary intakes) states that the adequate intake (AI) for adult men is 4mg/L and 3mg/L for women. That is, if an adult was to get all their fluoride from only drinking fluoridated water, they would need to consume 3 to 4 litres of water a day.

      Upper level of intake for adults (The highest average daily nutrient intake level likely to pose no adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population) including men, women, pregnancy and lactation is 10mg/day. So if the fluoride was at its upper limit of 1.5 mg/L an adult would need to drink 6.67 litres of fluoridated water to reach the upper level of intake. Having to consume 6.67 litres of water is hardly “very easy” to get to the ‘danger zone’ or the upper level of intake. Lets stick to the facts and steer away from hyperbole.
      https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/publications/attachments/n35.pdf pp. 170

      In response to your variables.
      Variable 1 – You have no evidence that the equipment is substandard. It is not a rational point given that the plants are brand new, and, have all new equipment. This is pure unsubstantiated conjecture.
      Variable 2 – See the points above.

      Council warnings have been adequate and dutiful as they have been compliant with the appropriate legislation.

  6. Diagnosed with low thyroid activity 8yrs ago I found it was caused by fluoride in the water supply so I started to avoid fluoridated water. 6 months later my thyroid hormone levels had returned to normal. 2 yrs later I became sick again and worked out that I was still ingesting fluoride through showering. I stopped using town water supply for bathing and 2 months later my health improved again. Since then we have added another rainwater tank and a bigger carbon filter and plumbed the whole lot into our bathroom and kitchen. This has cost us in excess of $10000 but the upside is that i now have the luxury of showers and water supply uncontaminated by fluoride, arsenic, cadmium and lead just to name a few – take a look at the complete list of impurities in the Australian Drinking Water Standards. The list of ailments I put up with for decades have long since disappeared and sadly my doctors and specialist had no idea what the problems was – their solutions were take pills. From information on the internet I found I had many of the classic symptoms of fluoride poisoning. The solution is really simple – give everyone the choice about it and remove it from the public water supply. Those who believe it’s good for you take as much of it as you wish – it is an industrial waste product so I imagine they would happily pay you to consume it.

    • How did you find out that your ‘low thyroid activity’ was caused by the fluoride in the water supply?
      According to NSW Health:
      “There may be effects of fluoride on the thyroid in conditions of iodine deficiency or at high levels of fluoride exposure perhaps in the presence of other factors.There appears to be no clinical effects on the thyroid that could be ascribed to the low level fluoride exposure in Australia.”

      What evidence to you have to show that your hypothyroidism was caused by fluoridated drinking water and not iodine deficiency or some other cause? Two events happening at the same times does not mean that one event caused the other – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

      Water contains impurities regardless of its source – natural, tank or public water supply. The source is irreverent. Most of these substances are harmless because they occur at very low trace amounts. Have you had your tank water tested?

      Regarding self diagnosis – There is a whole suite of issues with using the internet to self diagnose (http://www.news.com.au/technology/australian-medical-association-warns-about-internet-self-diagnosis/story-e6frfro0-1226703709723). You shouldn’t trust and I currently discount your self diagnosis of “fluoride poisoning” until it is confirmed by a trained medical professional.

      Regarding choice – Individuals sacrifice a small degree of choice for the health and safety of our society. It’s why speed limits, seat belts, alcohol limits, mandatory immunisation, and other food fortifications (iodized salt, thymine and folate are mandatory to be added to bread and other goods) exist and are enforced on everyone regardless of driving skill or history, alcohol tolerance etc… There is a net benefit to be had.


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