Statements from European Health & Environment Authorities on Fluoridation


"Generally, in Germany fluoridation of drinking water is forbidden. The relevant German law allows exceptions to the fluoridation ban on application. The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compuls[ory] medication." (Gerda Hankel-Khan, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, September 16, 1999). www.fluoridealert.org/germany.jpeg


"Fluoride chemicals are not included in the list [of 'chemicals for drinking water treatment']. This is due to ethical as well as medical considerations." (Louis Sanchez, Directeur de la Protection de l'Environment, August 25, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/france.jpeg


"This water treatment has never been of use in Belgium and will never be (we hope so) into the future. The main reason for that is the fundamental position of the drinking water sector that it is not its task to deliver medicinal treatment to people. This is the sole responsibility of health services." (Chr. Legros, Directeur, Belgaqua, Brussels, Belgium, February 28, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-belgium.htm


"Fluoride has never been added to the public water supplies in Luxembourg. In our views, the drinking water isn't the suitable way for medicinal treatment and that people needing an addition of fluoride can decide by their own to use the most appropriate way, like the intake of fluoride tablets, to cover their [daily] needs." (Jean-Marie RIES, Head, Water Department, Administration De L'Environment, May 3, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/luxembourg.jpeg


"We do not favor or recommend fluoridation of drinking water. There are better ways of providing the fluoride our teeth need." (Paavo Poteri, Acting Managing Director, Helsinki Water, Finland, February 7, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-finland.htm

"Artificial fluoridation of drinking water supplies has been practiced in Finland only in one town, Kuopio, situated in eastern Finland and with a population of about 80,000 people (1.6% of the Finnish population). Fluoridation started in 1959 and finished in 1992 as a result of the resistance of local population. The most usual grounds for the resistance presented in this context were an individual's right to drinking water without additional chemicals used for the medication of limited population groups. A concept of "force-feeding" was also mentioned.

Drinking water fluoridation is not prohibited in Finland but no municipalities have turned out to be willing to practice it. Water suppliers, naturally, have always been against dosing of fluoride chemicals into water." (Leena Hiisvirta, M.Sc., Chief Engineer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, January 12, 1996.) www.fluoridealert.org/finland.jpeg


"We are pleased to inform you that according to the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy, toxic fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies. Consequently, no Danish city has ever been fluoridated." (Klaus Werner, Royal Danish Embassy, Washington DC, December 22, 1999). www.fluoridation.com/c-denmark.htm


"In Norway we had a rather intense discussion on this subject some 20 years ago, and the conclusion was that drinking water should not be fluoridated." (Truls Krogh & Toril Hofshagen, Folkehelsa Statens institutt for folkeheise (National Institute of Public Health) Oslo, Norway, March 1, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-norway.htm


"Drinking water fluoridation is not allowed in Sweden...New scientific documentation or changes in dental health situation that could alter the conclusions of the Commission have not been shown." (Gunnar Guzikowski, Chief Government Inspector, Livsmedels Verket -- National Food Administration Drinking Water Division, Sweden, February 28, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-sweden.htm


"From the end of the 1960s until the beginning of the 1970s drinking water in various places in the Netherlands was fluoridated to prevent caries. However, in its judgement of 22 June 1973 in case No. 10683 (Budding and co. versus the City of Amsterdam) the Supreme Court (Hoge Road) ruled there was no legal basis for fluoridation. After that judgement, amendment to the Water Supply Act was prepared to provide a legal basis for fluoridation. During the process it became clear that there was not enough support from Parlement [sic] for this amendment and the proposal was withdrawn." (Wilfred Reinhold, Legal Advisor, Directorate Drinking Water, Netherlands, January 15, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-netherlands.htm

Northern Ireland:

"The water supply in Northern Ireland has never been artificially fluoridated except in 2 small localities where fluoride was added to the water for about 30 years up to last year. Fluoridation ceased at these locations for operational reasons. At this time, there are no plans to commence fluoridation of water supplies in Northern Ireland." (C.J. Grimes, Department for Regional Development, Belfast, November 6, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/Northern-Ireland.jpeg


"Toxic fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies in Austria." (M. Eisenhut, Head of Water Department, Osterreichische Yereinigung fur das Gas-und Wasserfach Schubertring 14, A-1015 Wien, Austria, February 17, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-austria.htm

Czech Republic:

"Since 1993, drinking water has not been treated with fluoride in public water supplies throughout the Czech Republic. Although fluoridation of drinking water has not actually been proscribed it is not under consideration because this form of supplementation is considered:

  • uneconomical (only 0.54% of water suitable for drinking is used as such; the remainder is employed for hygiene etc. Furthermore, an increasing amount of consumers (particularly children) are using bottled water for drinking (underground water usually with fluor)
  • unecological (environmental load by a foreign substance)
  • unethical ("forced medication")
  • toxicologically and phyiologically debateable (fluoridation represents an untargeted form of supplementation which disregards actual individual intake and requirements and may lead to excessive health-threatening intake in certain population groups; [and] complexation of fluor in water into non biological active forms of fluor." (Dr. B. Havlik, Ministerstvo Zdravotnictvi Ceske Republiky, October 14, 1999). www.fluoridealert.org/czech.jpeg

From the Fluoride Action Network:

Tooth Decay has declined as drastically in unfluoridated Europe over the past half century as it has in fluoridated North America (US & Canada):

Despite their near unanimous rejection of water fluoridation, the countries of western Europe have experienced the same decline in tooth decay as the heavily fluoridated US - and today enjoy, on average, the same rate of tooth decay. This fact raises many questions concerning the US Center for Disease Control's suggestion that the decline of tooth decay in the US is chiefly a result of water fluoridation.

The following are excerpts from recent studies discussing the decline of caries in Europe. Following the excerpts are recent data on tooth decay from the World Health Organization.

"[D]uring the period 1979-81, especially in western Europe where there is little fluoridation, a number of dental examinations were made and compared with surveys carried out a decade or so before. It soon became clear that large reductions in caries had been occurring in unfluoridated areas. The magnitudes of these reductions are generally comparable with those observed in fluoridated areas over similar periods of time." - Diesendorf, D. (1986). The Mystery of Declining Tooth Decay. Nature. 322(10): 125-129. http://www.fluoridealert.org/diesendorf-print.htm

"The caries attack rate in industrialized countries, including the United States and Canada, has decreased dramatically over the past 40 years." - Fomon SJ, Ekstrand J, Ziegler EE. (2000). Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental fluorosis: trends in fluoride intake with special attention to infants. J Public Health Dent 60(3):131-9.

"[T]here is a general agreement that a marked reduction in caries prevalence has occurred among children in most of the developed countries in recent decades." - Petersson GH, Bratthall D. (1996). The caries decline: a review of reviews. Eur J Oral Sci 104(4(Pt 2)):436-43.

"A very marked decline in caries prevalence [in Europe] was seen in children and adolescents...The number of edentulous adults in Europe has also been declining considerably." - Reich E. (2001). Trends in caries and periodontal health epidemiology in Europe. Int Dent J. 51(6 Suppl 1):392-8.

"Caries prevalence data from recent studies in all European countries showed a general trend towards a further decline for children and adolescents...The available data on the use of toothbrushes, fluorides and other pertinent items provided few clues as to the causes of the decline in caries prevalence." - Marthaler TM, O'Mullane DM, Vrbic V. (1996). The prevalence of dental caries in Europe 1990-1995. ORCA Saturday afternoon symposium 1995. Caries Res 30(4):237-55

"The regular use of fluoridated toothpastes has been ascribed a major role in the observed decline in caries prevalence in industrialized countries during the last 20 to 25 years, but only indirect evidence supports this claim." - Haugejorden O. (1996). Using the DMF gender difference to assess the "major" role of fluoride toothpastes in the caries decline in industrialized countries: a meta-analysis. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 24(6):369-75.

Belgium - Unfluoridated:

"Caries-free children increased from 4% to 50%. A reduction of the mean number of teeth attacked by dental caries from 7.5 to 1.6 and of tooth surfaces from 11.5 to 2.5 (P<0.001) was observed...A remarkable decline in dental caries was observed during the 15-yr period." - Carvalho JC, Van Nieuwenhuysen JP, D'Hoore W. (2001). The decline in dental caries among Belgian children between 1983 and 1998. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 29(1):55-61.

Finland - Unfluoridated:

"During the 10 years, substantial decreases were seen in the mean numbers of dental visits (from 4.0 to 2.4) and fillings (from 2.9 to 1.2). The greatest decrease was seen in the number of fillings made in incisors." - Vehkalahti M, Rytomaa I, Helminen S. (1991). Decline in dental caries and public oral health care of adolescents. Acta Odontol Scand 49(6):323-8.

France - Unfluoridated:

"Epidemiological surveys showed a marked decrease of caries prevalence in French children during the last 20 years."- Obry-Musset AM. (1998). [Epidemiology of dental caries in children] [Article in French] Arch Pediatr 5(10):1145-8.

Germany - Unfluoridated:

"Caries rates are on the decline in the Federal Republic of Germany, too. And, in some cases considerable, increase in the number of children with caries-free teeth and a clear reduction in the average number of carious teeth has been recorded, above all in kindergartens with preventive dentistry programmes." - Gulzow HJ. (1990). [Preventive dentistry in the Federal Republic of Germany] [Article in German] Oralprophylaxe 12(2):53-60.

Greece - Unfluoridated:

"The percentage of caries-free children for the total examined population increased by 94% while the reduction in DMFT index ranged between 38 and 70%. Treatment need was significantly lower in 1991 compared to 1982 in both dentitions." - Athanassouli I, et al. (1994). Dental caries changes between 1982 and 1991 in children aged 6-12 in Athens, Greece. Caries Res 28(5):378-82.

Iceland - Unfluoridated:

"During the last decade, a continuous decrease in dental caries has been observed among schoolchildren in Iceland...There does not seem to be any single factor responsible for the onset of the caries decline. - Einarsdottir KG, Bratthall D. (1996). Restoring oral health: On the rise and fall of dental caries in Iceland. Eur J Oral Sci 104(4 ( Pt 2)):459-69.

The Netherlands - Unfluoridated:

"According to WHO criteria, 12-year-old children in The Netherlands now have a very low caries experience." - Truin GJ, Konig KG, Bronkhorst EM. (1994). Caries prevalence in Belgium and The Netherlands. Int Dent J 44(4 Suppl 1):379-8.

Nordic Countries - Unfluoridated: .

"Despite differences in the dental health care services and the recording and reporting systems, a consistent and similar decline in dental caries is evident for Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden during the last two decades." - von der Fehr FR. (1994). Caries prevalence in the Nordic countries. Int Dent J 44(4 Suppl 1):371-8.

Sweden - Unfluoridated:

"Between 1967 and 1992 the mean dmfs values declined from 7.8 to 1.8. The decline was greatest between 1967 and 1980 and then levelled off." - Stecksen-Blicks C, Holm AK. (1995). Dental caries, tooth trauma, malocclusion, fluoride usage, toothbrushing and dietary habits in 4-year-old Swedish children: changes between 1967 and 1992. Int J Paediatr Dent 5(3):143-8

Swtizerland - Unfluoridated: (All of Switzerland is unfluoridated except for one city, Basel)

"Caries prevalence has declined by 70-84 percent since the late sixties." - Marthaler TM. (1991). [School dentistry in Zurich Canton: changes as a result of caries reduction of 80 to 85 percent] [Article in German] Oralprophylaxe 13(4):115-22.

"Surveys of dental caries prevalence were carried out from 1970-1993 in schoolchildren of the city of Zurich. DMFT experience declined by 68 to 80%, while the average dmft decreased by 48-53% (ages 7 to 9)." - Steiner M, Menghini G, Curilovic Z, Marthaler T. (1994). [The caries occurrence in schoolchildren of the city of Zurich in 1970-1993. A view of prevention in new immigrants] [Article in German]. Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed 104(10):1210-8.

The following is data from the World Health Organization (see http://www.whocollab.od.mah.se/euro.html).

DMFT Status (Decayed, Missing & Filled teeth) for 12 year olds:

DMFTs Year Status
Australia 0.8 1998 fluoridated
Zurich, Switzerland 0.84 1998 unfluoridated
Netherlands 0.9 1992-93 unfluoridated
Sweden 0.9 1999 unfluoridated
Denmark 0.9 2001 unfluoridated
UK (England, Scotland, N. Ire) 1.1 1996-97 10% fluoridated
Ireland 1.1 1997 fluoridated
Finland 1.1 1997 unfluoridated
US 1.4 1988-91 fluoridated
Norway 1.5 1998 unfluoridated
Iceland 1.5 1996 unfluoridated
New Zealand 1.5 1993 fluoridated
Belgium 1.6 1998 unfluoridated
Germany 1.7 1997 unfluoridated
Austria 1.7 1997 unfluoridated
France 1.9 1998 unfluoridated

Data from: WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme Department of Noncommunicable Diseases Surveillance/Oral Health WHO Collaborating Centre, Malmö University, Sweden http://www.whocollab.od.mah.se/euro.html