Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Showering Is Water Torture for Amanda; Is Rocky's Water to Blame for Skin Reaction?

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Showering Is Water Torture for Amanda; Is Rocky's Water to Blame for Skin Reaction?

Article excerpt

Byline: Belinda Sleeman belinda.sleeman@capnews.com.au

ROCKHAMPTON teen Amanda Hutton dreads having a shower.

It's not because she has watched Psycho re-runs, or because there's a huntsman in the bathtub.

It's because she can't stop scratching.

Ms Hutton, 17, is convinced she has an allergic reaction to water - Rocky water, that is.

"Every time I have a shower, I scratch constantly for an hour and a half to two hours afterwards," she said, subconsciously scratching her red blotchy arm.

She has spent the best part of her young life in and out of doctor's surgeries and chemists, desperately searching for an answer to her itchy problem.

"The doctors sent me for allergy tests, and I found out I was allergic to nickel and dairy and a few other things," she said.

"I cut all that out, but it didn't help. I am convinced it is the water here."

Ms Hutton moved to Sydney at 13 to live with her aunty, and said during the 12 months she lived there, she rarely had skin problems.

"It's only since I moved back here that it's flared up again," she said.

"I can't get a job outdoors, I can't go out and mow the lawn, I haven't been to the beach in ages. I'll just break out into a big red bubble if I do.

"I have to sit under a fan inside all day."

But she said the hardest thing about her condition was not being able to spend time outdoors with her 17-month-old daughter, Ruby Annah.

"I'm worried that she might have the same problems," she said.

Rockhampton Regional Council's customer Service centre has no record of complaints in relation to suspected skin irritation from water in the past two months.

On-going community concerns regarding water quality in the Fitzroy River catchment has prompted calls for a totally independent approach to water quality testing.

Councillor Bill Ludwig said he had been approached by concerned members of both the business and general community requesting that a call be made for totally independent testing and monitoring of the Fitzroy River. …

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