Last updated March 2017
Following on from information on fluoride concentrations of the drinking water of western Europe’s largest cities (see Fluoride in tap water in western Europe), 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 child-smile program is in place, and I could find no reference to any kind of artificial fluoridation on its website. The only references to milk fluoridation in Scotland which were found were a couple of papers from the first half of the 1980s. I didn’t find any information on milk fluoridation in the Netherlands.
I previously reported that according to the latest figures available via the World Health Organisation website, the DMFT (decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth) for Scotland (2013) for 12-year-olds was 0.6, which was the equal lowest in Europe, along with Denmark. The same source (Malmö University) now says that the latest information for Scotland is from 2010-2011, with a DMFT of 0.7, which is strange. The figure for the Netherlands is 0.8, which is still comparatively very low. The datum for the Netherlands is from 2002, and considering that the general western European trend in rates of dental caries has been downward over time, the current rate of dental caries may be even lower. The figure for 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 1.1, from 2001-02. The figures for the majority force-fluoridated USA (1999-2004) and Australia (2009), respectively, are 1.19 and 1.05. 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 poor quality, take no account of several potentially important confounding factors, 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.
Glasgow Milngavie C3 (G22 5AA) 0.05, Picketlaw (G76 0AA) less than 0.04, Carron Valley B (G63 0AA) 0.04
Edinburgh Glencorse C (EH10 4AA) 0.04, Castle Moffat (EH41 3AA) less than 0.04, Marchbank A (EH27 8AA) less than 0.04
Aberdeen Mannofield East (AB10 1AA) 0.08, Mannofield South (AB13 0AA) 0.07, Invercannie (AB31 4AA) 0.06
Dundee Clatto West (DD2 3UP) 0.04, Clatto East (DD5 3DQ) 0.05
Paisley (Renfrewshire) Muirdykes (PA2 6LW) less than 0.04, Blairlinnans South less than 0.04
East Kilbride (South Lanarkshire) Daer B (G75 8SA) less than 0.04
Livingston (West Lothian) Marchbank A (EH54 5AN) less than 0.04
Hamilton (South Lanarkshire) Daer Camps A (ML3 6AA) 0.04, Daer C 0.17
Cumbernauld (North Lanarkshire) Balmore Carron Valley (G67 1DY) less than 0.04
Dunfermline (Fife) Glendevon A (KY12 7AU) 0.04
Amsterdam (North Holland) 0.10
Rotterdam (South Holland) Berenplaat (3197 XA) 0.19, Kralingen (3113 AA) 0.19
The Hague (South Holland) Scheveningen 0.20, Katwijk 0.21, Monster 0.21
Utrecht Amersfoort Berg 0.06, Laren 0.05, Zeist 0.08
Eindhoven (North Brabant) Eindhoven 0.07, Welschap 0.04
Groningen De Groeve 0.11, De Punt 0.07, Nietap 0.06, Onnen 0.15, Sellingen less than 0.05
Almere (Flevoland) Bremerberg less than 0.05, Fledite 0.06, Harderbroek 0.05
Breda (North Brabant) Dorst 0.12, Oosterhout 0.12
Nijmegen (Gelderland) Amersfoortseweg less than 0.05, Holk less than 0.05, Zutphen 0.09
Thomas M. Marthaler. 2013, Salt Fluoridation and Oral Health. Acta Medica Academica, Vol 42, No. 2, pp 140-155.