Fluoride in drinking water in western Europe

Updated

This page has data on fluoride levels in tap water and bottled water in western Europe. The next page has info on salt fluoridation and other systemic fluoride treatments, and dental statistics.

The perpetrators of forced-fluoridation often try to explain away the fact that reported dental caries rates are just as low in nonfluoridated western European countries as they are in countries where forced-fluoridation is committed by exaggerating fluoride exposure in the former. According to the Fluoride Action Network, the Irish Republic (73% of the population), Spain (11% of the population), and Britain (11% of the population) are the only countries in western Europe which subject their populations to fluoride pollution in their tap water, making up just 3% of the total western European population. Those figures come originally from the British Fluoridation Society (BFS).

Although the numbers for Ireland and Britain look about right, 11% for Spain appears to be an overestimate (and the BFS says it’s 10% for Britain, for what it’s worth). The BFS lists only one source of information for Spain, which is from 2005, even though there is now a 2013 edition of the book (Odontología preventiva y comunitaria: Principios, métodos y aplicaciones edited by Emili Cuenca Sala and Pilar Baca García), which appears to have always only been available in Spanish. I have found many sources of information, mostly via water utilities, government, and academic publications, and all of the recent sources are consistent on 2 points: (1) the Basque Country accounts for the majority of forced-fluoridation in Spain (legislation passed in 1998 imposes it on cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants); (2) forced-fluoridation is no longer inflicted on anyone living in Andalusia (the mid-1980s Decrees which enabled it were repealed in 2009). The BFS lists Seville, Córdoba, and Linares, which are in Andalusia and which account for a large proportion of its 11% estimate, among its force-fluoridated communities, so removing Andalusia from the calculation makes a big difference. At this point I am not able to make a precise estimate, but I can say that forced-fluoridation is probably inflicted on no more than 5% of the Spanish population.

Whatever the exact figure for western Europe, the European Union has unfortunately not done anything to protect that small minority from their governments, and in the case of Britain has lost the chance to do so.

Of the countries which are not currently guilty of forced-fluoridation, they all either never force-fluoridated or have not done so since 1973 at the latest, apart from Finland, which appears to have ceased in 1992. The reunified Germany and the Czech Republic have never force-fluoridated, but the former East Germany and Czechoslovakia did. Ireland is the only western European nation which has ever inflicted this crime on most of its population, and a large majority of the other countries either never force-fluoridated or have inflicted it on a small minority. Some of the public water supplies in western Europe are “naturally fluoridated”, but only small minorities of the population in each country are provided with water from those supplies.

Below is a list of western (or thereabouts) European cities, with links to the latest information I could find on fluoride concentrations in the public water supplies of those cities. For each of the 5 most populous countries, namely Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the 5 most populous cities or metropolitan areas have been listed. For the other countries with populations of at least 4 million, I have attempted to provide data for the 3 most populous communities in each country, mostly successfully, though as a general rule it becomes less likely the information will be available the smaller the community.

The fluoride concentrations are predominantly much lower than the 0.7 to 1.0 ppm nominal concentrations most commonly used for artificial water fluoridation, and mostly below 0.2 ppm. The information is not complete, and I’m only proficient in English so it’s possible there are some mistakes, but there has been no selective reporting. Apart from in Ireland, which inflicts forced-fluoridation on everyone with a public water supply, the only community on the list which is artificially fluoridated is Birmingham, England. No other cities had fluoride concentrations consistently above 0.5 ppm, though Copenhagen is in the ballpark, and Valencia is listed as 0.3 to 0.7 ppm. Information on bottled water is listed at the bottom of the page.

Note that even though the fluoride concentrations are overwhelmingly low in comparison to those used for forced-fluoridation, they are not necessarily safe. The idea that naturally occurring fluoride is more or less harmless is a myth, and as a point of reference, the fluoride concentration of breastmilk is around 0.004 ppm (equivalent to 4 parts per billion). Fluoride is a highly toxic, cumulative poison. All figures below are in parts per million (ppm), or equivalently milligrams per litre (mg/L).

Fluoride levels in tap water in western Europe

Austria

Austria has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.
infoportal trinkwasser
Fluoridkompendium (PDF from 2015)

Vienna
Lobau less than 0.20, Moosbrunn less than 0.20
Stadt Wien
Graz
0.05 – 0.08
Holding Graz
Linz
Goldwörth 0.11, Scharlinz 0.12, Plesching 0.10, Heilham 0.12, Fischdorf 0.10, Haid 0.11 (data from August 2009)
Linz verändert (PDF)

Belgium

There is agreement that Belgium has not inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population for a long time. According to the following article, forced-fluoridation in Belgium had ended by 1988.
• Hileman B (1988). Fluoridation of water: Questions about health risks and benefits remain after more than 40 years. Chemical & Engineering News August 1: 26-42.

Brussels
Callois 0.071, Roode 0.110, Bosvoorde 0.070, Ukkel 0.073, Elsene 0.073, Daussouix-Bosvoorde 0.073 (data from 2011)
leefmilieu brussel.brussels (PDF)

American pollution


leefmilieu brussel.brussels
VIVAQUA
Antwerp
AWW-PST 0.32, AWW-PB 0.16
water-link
Liége
unable to find data
cile
Ghent
0.22
Farys (fluoride statement)
Farys (composition)

Britain

Forced-fluoridation is directly inflicted on approximately 10% of Britain’s population. These crimes are all being committed in England (mostly in the West Midlands and the Northeast), with none in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

England

London
“The average fluoride concentration for the Thames water supplied area in 2018 was 0.15 milligrammes per litre”. Finsbury Park (N7 0AA – Holloway supply zone) 0.15, East Ham (E12 5AA – Manor Park) 0.17, Hanger Lane & Stonebridge (W3 0AA) 0.14, Brent Cross (NW2 1AA) 0.15, Charlton (SE13 5AA) 0.16, Merton (SW19 1AA) 0.13
Thames Water
Manchester
less than 0.03 (WA1 2BX – Warrington East)
United Utilities
Birmingham
Occupied by the enemy since 1964. The tap water is fluoride-contaminated wastewater with a nominal fluoride concentration of 1.0 ppm.
Severn Trent – Fluoride Agreements (PDF)
Severn Trent – Check My Water Quality
South Staffs Water – Water Quality Standards
South Staffs Water – Fluoride
Leeds
LS1 1BA (Leeds LL Bramhope/Holbeck supply zone) 0.078
Yorkshire Water
Southampton
“The water we supply generally contains low levels of natural fluoride, less than 0.1 mg/l (parts per million). Currently, fluoride is not added to any water supplies in our area.” SO15 0AB (Otterbourne Indirect_01 water supply zone) 0.0775
Southern Water

Scotland

Scotland does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. That crime ended in 1983 (Attwood 1992, 41).
• Attwood D (1992). Dental health of children before and after the cessation of water fluoridation: volume 1 [PhD thesis]. Department of Conservative Dentistry, University of Glasgow.
Scottish Water

Glasgow
Milngavie C3 (G22 5AA) 0.04, Picketlaw (G76 0AA) less than 0.04, Carron Valley B (G63 0AA) 0.06
Edinburgh
Glencorse C (EH10 4AA) 0.05, Castle Moffat (EH41 3AA) 0.06, Marchbank A (EH27 8AA) less than 0.04
Aberdeen
Mannofield East (AB10 1BB) 0.07, Mannofield South (AB13 0AA) 0.08, Invercannie (AB31 4AA) 0.10

Croatia

Croatia, which declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, does not inflict, and as far as I can tell has never inflicted, forced-fluoridation on its population.

Zagreb
Mala Mlaka 0.060, Petruševec 0.088, Sašnak 0.063, Zapruđe 0.090, Strmec 0.103
VIO
Split
unable to find data
VODOVOD I KANALIZACIJA SPLIT
Rijeka
0.02 or 0.03
VK
VK (PDF)

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic, which came into existence in 1993, has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.

Prague
0.11 (see link under “Aktualni kvalita vody” on right-hand side of PVK webpage below)
Pražské vodovody a kanalizace
Brno
unable to find data
Brněnské vodárny a kanalizace
Ostrava
unable to find data
Ostravské vodárny a kanalizace a.s.
Plzeň
less than 0.1
Vodárna Plzeň

Denmark

Denmark has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population, though the fluoride concentrations of its public water supplies are generally quite high by western European standards.

Copenhagen
Islevbro 0.42, Lejre 0.85, Marbjerg 0.48, Regnemark 0.54, Slangerup 0.43, Søndersø 0.34, Thorsbro 0.27
HOFOR
Aarhus
0.30
Aarhus Vand
Odense
Hovedværket 0.37, Holmehaveværket 0.31, Lindvedværket 0.60, Lundeværket 0.33, Dalumværket 0.47
VandCenterSyd

Finland

Finland does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. The Finnish town of Kuopio was forced-fluoridated between 1959 and 1992, and to my knowledge this form of state-sponsored terrorism was not perpetrated anywhere in Finland after 1992.

Helsinki (incl. Espoo)
Pitkäkoski less than 0.1, Vanhakaupunki less than 0.1
HSY (experts)
HSY (residents)
ESPOO ESBO
Tampere
less than 0.15
TAMPEREEN VESI
Turku
0.090
Turun Seudun Vesi Oy

France

France has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.

Paris
centre 0.1, est 0.1, nordouest 0.1, sudouest 0.1
eau de Paris
Lyon
0.13
Eau du Grand Lyon
Eau du Grand Lyon (PDF)
Marseille
0.08
Eaux de Marseille
Lille
unable to find data
iléo L’EAU DE LA MEL
Toulouse
unable to find data
ARS Occitanie
toulouse

Germany

The reunified Germany, which came into existence in 1990, has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.

Ruhrgebiet
Essen 0.11; Dortmund: Hengsen 0.10, Villigst 0.09, Westhofen 0.09, Witten 0.10, Halingen 0.09; Duisburg 0.175, 0.18, 0.13, not detectable; Bochum 0.11, 0.10
Stadtwerke Essen
DEW21
STADTWERKE DUISBURG
STADTWERKE BOCHUM
Berlin
Beelitzhof 0.19, Friedrichshagen 0.19, Kaulsdorf 0.28, Kladow 0.18, Spandau 0.21, Stolpe 0.23, Tegel 0.17, Tiefwerder 0.16, Wuhlheide 0.33
Berliner Wasserbetriebe
Hamburg
Baursberg 0.07, Curslack 0.16, Haseldorfer Marsch 0.07, Nordheide 0.09, Süderelbmarsch 0.13
HAMBURG WASSER
Cologne – Bonn
Cologne: linksrheinisch 0.13, rechtsrheinisch 0.09; Bonn less than 0.1
RheinEnergie AG Linksrheinisch (PDF)
RheinEnergie AG Rechtsrheinisch (PDF)
SWB Energie und Wasser
Munich
less than 0.2
Stadtwerke München
Stadtwerke München (PDF)

Ireland (Republic of)

Dublin, Cork, Limerick…
Occupied by the enemy. Fluoride, which is highly toxic, nonbiodegradable, and bioaccumulative, is dumped into all of the Republic of Ireland’s public water supplies, with nominal fluoride concentrations of somewhere between 0.6 and 0.8 ppm. This crime has been perpetrated continuously since 1964. The nominal fluoride concentration was previously 1.0 ppm.
Irish Water (fluoridewit propaganda)
Irish Water (drinking water quality)

Italy

Italy has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.

Rome
Note that the following readings come from the Comune di Roma and that there are some higher fluoride levels in surrounding areas. Zona 1 Monteverde Vecchio 0.13, Zona 2 Peschiera Capore + Bracciano 0.17, Zona 3 Peschiera Capore 0.13, Zona 4 Nuovo Vergine Prevalente 0.43, Zona 5 Acqua Marcia less than 0.10, Zona 6 Appio Alessandrino HC 0.20, Zona 7 Appio Alessandrino LC 0.14
acea
Milan
less than 0.5
Metropolitana Milanese SPA
MILANOBLU
Naples
D03 Via Posillipo 0.17, D14 C.so Duca d’Aosta 0.25, D25 Via A. Ghisleri 0.21, D27 Via Ponti Rossi 0.37, D40 Corso Garibaldi 0.46, D45 C.so Ponticelli 0.27
ABC [the map loads slowly when you click on it]
Turin
less than 0.1
SMA Torino
Palermo
0.25
AMAP S.p.A

Netherlands

The Netherlands does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. Forced-fluoridation ceased in 1973 (Attwood 1992, 33).

Amsterdam
0.09
Waternet
Rotterdam
Berenplaat (3197 XA) 0.18, Kralingen (3113 AA) 0.18
Evides
The Hague
Scheveningen 0.21, Katwijk 0.23, Monster 0.22
Dunea Duin & Water

Norway

Norway has never inflicted forced-fluoridation on its population.

Oslo
0.04
Oslo kommune
Bergen
Espeland 0.03, Jordalsvatnet 0.14, Kismul 0.14, Risnes 0.03, Svartediket 0.14, Sædalen 0.11
bergen vann
Stavanger
unable to find data
IVAR

Portugal

Portugal does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. Depending on which source you believe, Portugal has either never perpetrated any forced-fluoridation, or had one experimental treatment plant which was discontinued no later than 1988 (Hileman 1988, 30).

Lisbon
minimum: less than 0.100; maximum: 0.151
EPAL
Vila Nova de Gaia
less than 0.10
ÁGUAS DE GAIA
Porto
minimum: less than 0.10; maximum: 0.10
Águas do Porto

Spain

The journal article below shows that tap water in Spain is mostly well below the fluoride concentrations used for artificial fluoridation. The Basque Country is the only region in which forced-fluoridation is the norm, as a result of legislation passed in 1998 which imposes it on cities with more than 30,000 inhabitants. At this point I am not able to make a precise estimate, but based on information from many sources, forced-fluoridation is probably inflicted on no more than 5% of the Spanish population.
• Vitoria I et al (2014). Flúor en aguas de consumo público españolas y prevención de la caries dental (Fluoride content in tap water in Spain and prevention of dental caries). Gaceta Sanitaria 28(3): 255-256.

Madrid
less than 0.3 (from paper above, not water utility website below)
Canal de Isabel II
Barcelona
Avenida Diagonal 1: less than 0.1
Aigües de Barcelona
Valencia
0.3 – 0.7 (from paper above, not water utility website below)
Aguas de Valencia
Seville
less than 0.2
EMASESA
Zaragoza
less than 0.15
Zaragoza AYUNTAMIENTO

Sweden

Sweden does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. Forced-fluoridation ceased in 1962.

Stockholm
Norsborg less than 0.20, Lovö less than 0.20
STOCKHOLM VATTEN OCH AVFALL
STOCKHOLM VATTEN OCH AVFALL (PDF)
Gothenburg
less than 0.1
Göteborgs Stad
Malmö
0.22
VASYD

Switzerland

Switzerland does not inflict forced-fluoridation on its population. Forced-fluoridation ceased in 2003.

Zürich
0.06
Stadt Zürich – Departement der Industriellen Betriebe
Geneva
0.10
SIG (PDF)
Basel
Lange Erlen minimum: 0.10, maximum: 0.12; Hard minimum: 0.08, maximum: 0.10
iwb

Fluoride levels in bottled water in western Europe

Overall the fluoride concentrations of the bottled water available in western Europe are higher than for tap water, but mostly well below the nominal concentrations used for artificial water fluoridation. There are some bottled waters with fluoride levels around 1 mg/L or higher, however, and a small proportion with much higher levels.

A 2010 paper reported a median fluoride concentration in European bottled water of 0.211 mg/L, taken from 1785 samples, compared to 0.0870 mg/L for European tap water, from 579 samples. A book chapter from 2012, but based on the same data, reported that the median fluoride concentration in European bottled water from 884 locations (with the same total of 1785 samples) was 0.188 mg/L, with a range of 0.003 to 10.7 mg/L. For European surface water the equivalent figures were 0.1 mg/L, and less than 0.05 to 1.55 mg/L (from 808 locations). With respect to the bottled water samples, a “predominance” of high fluoride concentrations in the waters from north-eastern Europe was noted, so the median for western Europe was most likely less than 0.188 mg/L. The 10.7 mg/L value was from a well in Georgia. Returning to the 2010 paper, for Germany the median fluoride concentrations were 0.242 mg/L for bottled water, from 908 samples, and 0.105 mg/L for tap water, from 164 samples.
• Birke M, Rauch U, Harazim B, Lorenz H, Glatte W (2010). Major and trace elements in German bottled water, their regional distribution, and accordance with national and international standards. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 107: 245-271.
• Demetriades A, Reimann C, Birke M, The Eurogeosurveys Geochemistry EGG Team. European Ground Water Geochemistry Using Bottled Water as a Sampling Medium. In: Clean Soil and Safe Water: NATO Science for Peace and Security Series – C: Environmental Security. Dordrecht (Germany): Springer; 2012. p. 115-139.

Another 2010 article in the same journal found fluoride levels in 186 Italian bottled mineral waters from 0.011 mg/L to 1.75 mg/L, with a median of 0.143 mg/L.
• Cicchella D, Albanese S, De Vivo B, Giaccio L, Lima A, Valera P (2010). Trace elements and ions in Italian bottled mineral waters: identification of anomalous values and human health related effects. Journal of Geochemical Exploration 107: 336-349.

In 2015 fluoride concentrations for 30 brands of commercially available bottled waters in Zagreb, Croatia were reported. The average for the carbonated water samples was 0.338 mg/L with a range of 0.014 to 1.150 mg/L, the average for the non-carbonated samples was 0.083 mg/L with a range of 0.015 to 0.301 mg/L, and the average for the flavoured samples was 0.225 mg/L with a range of 0.023 to 0.927 mg/L.
• Bašić K et al (2015). Fluoride content of bottled waters commercially available in Zagreb, Croatia. Intrinsic Activity 3(Suppl. 2): A6.8. [From: 21st Scientific Symposium of the Austrian Pharmacological Society. Joint Meeting with the British Pharmacological Society and the Pharmacological Societies of Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia]

In 2012 values for fluoride concentrations in mineral waters either bottled in Spain (97 brands) or imported into Spain (12 brands) were measured, with medians of 0.22 mg/L (range 0.00-4.16) and 0.35 mg/L (range 0.10-1.21) respectively.
• Maraver F, Vitoria I, Almerich-Silla JM, Armijo F (2015). Fluoride content of bottled natural mineral waters in Spain and prevention of dental caries. Atención Primaria 47(1): 15-24.

A 2010 study found a median fluoride level in 67 bottled waters from the British Isles of 0.09 mg/L with a minimum of less than 0.02 mg/L and a maximum of 0.58 mg/L. Water from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland was tested.
• Smedley PL (2010). A survey of the inorganic chemistry of bottled mineral waters from the British Isles. Applied Geochemistry 25: 1872-1888.

In 2009 the average fluoride concentration in 24 mineral waters available in Belgium, weighted by consumption frequency, was reported as 0.4 mg/L. A small majority of brands had fluoride levels lower than 0.5 mg/L, while the maximum concentration was 5.5 mg/L.
• Vandevijvere S, Horion B, Fondu M, Mozin M, Ulens M, Huybrechts I, van Oyen H, Noirfalise A (2009). Fluoride intake through consumption of tap water and bottled water in Belgium. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 6: 1676-1690.

A 2004 research report from Finland found a median fluoride concentration in groundwater of 0.1 mg/L, with an average of 0.4 mg/L.
• Kousa A, Moltchanova E, Viik-Kajander M, Rytkönen M, Tuomilehto J, Tarvainen T, Karvonen M (2004). Geochemistry of ground water and the incidence of acute myocardial infarction in Finland. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health 58(2): 136-139.

A 2003 study of 25 commercial brands of bottled water on sale in the north-east of England found an average fluoride concentration of 0.08 mg/L with a standard deviation of 0.08 mg/L and a range of 0.01-0.37 mg/L.
• Zohouri FV, Maguire A, Moynihan PJ (2003). Fluoride content of still bottled waters available in the North-East of England. British Dental Journal 195: 515-518.

4 thoughts on “Fluoride in drinking water in western Europe

  1. John

    what about all of the cities, towns and villages in the Republic of Ireland? Ireland is the only country in Europe with mandatory state-wide fluoridation.

  2. Forced-fluoridation Freedom Fighters Post author

    Yeah, I know that Ireland is the only country in Europe where the majority of the population is directly subjected to forced-fluoridation, but the purpose of this post and the follow-up article is to show that low rates of dental caries in western European countries cannot be explained by fluoride ingestion. You may be interested in my response to a radio interview involving Joe Mullen, one of the major perpetrators of forced-fluoridation in Ireland.

  3. KSpencer

    There are 740 million Europeans. About 3% consume fluoridated water. Fluoridated salt is only available in a handful of countries and has a minority market share. Even fewer have access to fluoridated milk. In other words, over half a billion Europeans do NOT consume any fluoride. They may brush their teeth with it following the instructions to SPIT, DON’T SWALLOW.

    European letters: http://www.actionpa.org/fluoride/countries.pdf
    Sicily tests 667 water sources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18064536

    No fluoridation of any type is available in Italy. A few villages on the hillsides of its two volcanos or located near polluted industrial zones have fluoride in their water. It is considered pollution and causal in “denti scritti” – teeth with marks on them, dental fluorosis.

    1. Forced-fluoridation Freedom Fighters Post author

      There is some information on artificial sources of fluoride in Western Europe in the follow-up article. It isn’t quite true that over half a billion Europeans do not consume any fluoride because everyone consumes some fluoride which is present naturally in water and food, but the levels are generally far lower than for people subjected to forced-fluoridation. Anyway, the main point is that fluoridationists never let the truth get in the way of their little fairytale, as you know.

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