Scotland and the Netherlands: inconvenient examples

Updated January 2019

Following on from information on fluoride concentrations of the drinking water of western Europe’s largest cities, I have listed fluoride concentrations in drinking water of the 10 largest population centres in each of Scotland and the Netherlands. Neither country subjects its population to artificial water fluoridation. Some of the figures provided may be for places nearby the named population centres instead of in them, but it can be seen that the fluoride concentrations are uniformly very low in comparison with the typical nominal concentrations used for forced-fluoridation of 0.7 to 1.0 ppm. Salt fluoridation and milk fluoridation, and any other kind of artificial fluoridation of food or drink, also appear to be non-existent or negligible in both countries. From a recent journal article: “In Europe, meaningful percentages of users [of fluoridated salt] have been attained only in Germany (67%) and Switzerland (85%).” (Marthaler, 2013, 140) and “The sale of fluoridated salt would be legal in Greece and in the Netherlands but there seems to be no interest in this preventive method.” (Marthaler, 2013, 148). In Scotland the Childsmile program is in place, and I could find no reference to any kind of systemic artificial fluoridation on its website. The only references to milk fluoridation in Scotland which were found (elsewhere) were a couple of papers from the first half of the 1980s. I didn’t find any information on milk fluoridation in the Netherlands.

The Malmö University website has information on DMFT (decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth) for 12-year-olds, which is linked to by the World Health Organisation website. The latest information for Scotland is from 2010-2011, with a DMFT of 0.7. The figure for the Netherlands is 0.6, from 2006. DMFT for 12-year-olds in the force-fluoridated part of Ireland, which is the only country in Europe in which the majority of the population is directly subjected to the practice, is 1.4, from 2001-02. The figures for the majority force-fluoridated USA (1999-2004) and Australia (2009), respectively, are 1.2 and 1.1. The trend in Australia since recording 0.8 in the year 2000 has been upwards.

The myth that fluoride is a nutrient was officially debunked long ago. No individual person requires any fluoride for good dental health. The examples of Scotland and the Netherlands show that countries also do not require any form of artificial food or drink fluoridation, or fluoride concentrations in drinking water comparable to those used for forced-fluoridation, in order to achieve rates of dental caries in 12-year-olds which are low both in comparison with force-fluoridated countries, and by historical standards. The forced-fluoridation floggers would perhaps respond that such comparisons do not take confounding factors into account. If they had some good quality, independent research they could cite maybe they would have a case. In reality, the marketing “studies” they rely on are of very poor quality, take no account of several potentially important confounding factors or of systematic measurement error, and are typically funded by corporations such as Colgate-Palmolive, so they do not have a leg to stand on. Note that the evidence for benefit in adults is even weaker than that for children, if that is possible.

All figures below are in parts per million (ppm), or equivalently mg/L.


Scottish Water

Milngavie C3 (G22 5AA) 0.05, Picketlaw (G76 0AA) 0.04, Carron Valley B (G63 0AA) 0.06

Glencorse C (EH20 4AA) 0.05, Castle Moffat (EH41 3AA) 0.06, Marchbank A (EH27 8AA) 0.04

Mannofield East (AB10 1AA) 0.08, Mannofield South (AB13 0AA) 0.08, Invercannie (AB31 4AA) 0.09

Clatto West (DD2 3UP) 0.04, Clatto East (DD5 3DQ) 0.05

Paisley (Renfrewshire)
Muirdykes (PA2 6LW) 0.05, Blairlinnans South (PA1 2PZ) 0.04

East Kilbride (South Lanarkshire)
Daer B (G75 8SA) 0.04

Livingston (West Lothian)
Marchbank A (EH54 5AN) 0.04

Hamilton (South Lanarkshire)
Daer Camps A (ML3 6AA) 0.09, Daer C (ML3 8PZ) 0.04

Cumbernauld (North Lanarkshire)
Balmore Carron Valley (G67 1DY) 0.04

Dunfermline (Fife)
Glendevon A (KY12 7AU) 0.04

The Netherlands

Amsterdam (North Holland)

Rotterdam (South Holland)
Berenplaat (3197 XA) 0.2, Kralingen (3113 AA) 0.2

The Hague (South Holland)
Scheveningen 0.22, Katwijk 0.23, Monster 0.24
Dunea Duin & Water

Amersfoort Berg 0.06, Laren 0.05, Zeist 0.08

Eindhoven (North Brabant)
Eindhoven 0.06, Welschap 0.04
Brabant Water
Brabant Water – Eindhoven (PDF)
Brabant Water – Welschap (PDF)

Tilburg (North Brabant)
Brabant Water
Brabant Water – Tilburg (PDF)

De Groeve 0.11, De Punt 0.08, Nietap 0.06, Onnen 0.13, Sellingen less than 0.05
Waterbedrijf Groningen

Almere (Flevoland)
Bremerberg less than 0.05, Fledite 0.06, Harderbroek less than 0.05

Breda (North Brabant)
Dorst 0.24, Oosterhout 0.056
Brabant Water
Brabant Water – Dorst (PDF)
Brabant Water – Oosterhout (PDF)

Nijmegen (Gelderland)
Amersfoortseweg less than 0.05, Holk less than 0.05, Zutphenseweg 0.21


Thomas M. Marthaler. 2013, Salt Fluoridation and Oral Health. Acta Medica Academica, Vol 42, No. 2, pp 140-155.

WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme

Malmö University Country Oral Health Profiles


,Fluoride in drinking water in western Europe,