‘No fluoride or no water charge’ call to council

240x160_orlamcloughlinWITH Limerick householders due to start paying for domestic water usage next year, Labour Party councillor Orla McLoughlin told City Council this week that she did not want to pay the new charge if there was fluoride in her water.

Excessive exposure to fluoride in drinking water has been linked by the World Health Organisation to a number of adverse affects from mild dental fluorosis to the risk of development of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoarthritis. The Department of Health revealed last month that it is to conduct a review into fluoridation, which has been in place in Ireland for over 50 years.

Speaking at City Hall this week, Cllr McLoughlin expressed growing concern on the use of fluoride in our water supplies.

“We are moving into a new era and this is an issue that is not going away. I don’t want to pay water rates if there is fluoride in it. I filter my water because it doesn’t taste right. We are putting this into people and you have to understand this is a really big issue,” she said.

Cllr Pat Kennedy (Ind) said that 97 per cent of countries across Europe did not use fluoride and the council needed to be kept up to date.

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On a phased basis from January 2014, Irish Water will bring the water and wastewater services of local authorities together under one national service provider. It will take around five years for Irish Water to be fully established, at which point it will be responsible for the operation of public water services.

Cllr John Gilligan (Ind) likened Irish Water to the Anglo Irish Bank.

“It’s a case of give us your money or else. They are trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of people. They would do Anglo Irish Bank proud. Limerick City Council will continue to do the same work and someone else will take the money. Irish Water? No way José,” he said.

Director of Water Services, Josephine Cotter-Coughlan said they were working closely with Irish Water to ensure quality of drinking water is maintained to the highest level while City Manager Conn Murray said they had to implement legislation as there were “higher authorities operating.”