News on fluoridation
According to a report in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, Israel is set to reintroduce water fluoridation of its public water supply system in a move that will potentially benefit more than 5 million people in communities including Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.
It follows a vote in the Knesset’s Labour, Social Welfare and Health Committee to approve proposals from Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman, who pledged to reverse the decision of his predecessor Yael German to terminate the regulations that permit fluoridation under Israeli law.
Figures from dental health research in Israel published in 2013 show that 12-year olds in (then) fluoridated Haifa had nearly 30% fewer decayed, missing and filled teeth than those from non-fluoridated Kfar Saba. Differences in levels of tooth decay between the most and least affluent children were significantly lower in Haifa than in Kfar Saba.
One in a Million
Our One in a Million online database includes a comprehensive section on the extent of fluoridation.
Fluoridation in the UK
Around 6 million people in the UK are served by community water fluoridation schemes. They live in parts of the West Midlands, East Midlands, North East, Cumbria, Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Humberside and Bedfordshire.
The first and largest scheme – serving more than a million people – was introduced in 1964 to serve the city of Birmingham and some of its neighbouring areas sharing the same Elan Valley water supply.
Other cities and towns with schemes include Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, Consett, North Shields, Wallsend, Whitley Bay, Hexham, Alnwick, Workington, Whitehaven, Maryport, Crewe, Nantwich, Alsager, Scunthorpe, Lincoln, Grantham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Leamington Spa, Warwick, Rugby, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Droitwich, Evesham, Mansfield, Worksop, Retford, Bolsover, Burton on Trent, Lichfield, Tamworth, Rugeley, Cannock and Bridgnorth.
Fluoridation in Europe
Around 13.5 million people in Europe are served by community water fluoridation schemes, including 6 million in the UK, 4.2 million in Spain and 3.3 million in the Irish Republic.
Areas of Spain with water fluoridation schemes are the Basque Country in the north (including the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian); Girona in the north east of Catalonia; parts of Murcia province in the south east of Spain; and parts of Andalucia province (including the cities of Seville and Cordoba).
Under Irish legislation all public water supplies are fluoridated. Major cities and communities with fluoridation schemes include Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Drogheda and Dundalk.
Fluoridation in the US
Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that community water fluoridation schemes are serving a record total of 211.4 million people across the United States. It means that 66.3% of the US population are now benefiting from this public health measure (or 74.4% of those connected to public water supplies).
Around the world
Across the world an estimated 380 million people are served by community water fluoridation schemes.
The first scheme started in Grand Rapids in the US State of Michigan in 1945. Since then, water fluoridation has been adopted as an oral health promotion strategy by communities in the United States and many other countries.
Today, in addition to the United States, countries operating fluoridation schemes include Canada, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Guatemala, Guyana, the Irish Republic, the UK, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, South Korea, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea and Fiji.
Major cities with fluoridated water supplies include New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Toronto, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Dublin, Cork, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bilbao, Seville, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Wellington and Auckland.
Worldwide expansion over recent years
The number of people benefiting from community water fluoridation around the world continues to increase year on year. Between 2002 and 2014, approximately 58 million more people worldwide have started to drink fluoridated water thanks to new schemes introduced over that period. They include 32 million more people in the United States; 3 million more people in Brazil; 7 million more people in Chile; 7 million more people in Australia; and 5 million more people in Malaysia.