The extent of fluoridated water usage around the world. Colors indicate the percentage of population in each country that receives fluoridated water, where the fluoridation is to levels recommended for preventing tooth decay (sic). This includes both artificially and naturally fluoridated water.
The data for this map are taken from Table 31 (pp. 35–6) of:
The British Fluoridation Society; The UK Public Health Association; The British Dental Association; The Faculty of Public Health (2004). “The extent of water fluoridation”, One in a Million: The facts about water fluoridation, 2nd, 55–80.
Fluoridation has been introduced to varying degrees in many countries and territories outside the U.S., including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Spain, the UK, and Vietnam. An estimated 12 million people in western Europe, 171 million in the U.S. (61.5% of the U.S. population), and 355 million worldwide receive artificially fluoridated water, in addition to at least 50 million worldwide who receive water naturally fluoridated to recommended levels.
In addition, at least 50 million people worldwide drink water that is naturally fluoridated to optimal levels; the actual number is unknown and is likely to be much higher. Naturally fluoridated water is used in many countries, including Argentina, France, Gabon, Libya, Mexico, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the U.S., and Zimbabwe. In some locations, notably parts of Africa, China, and India, natural fluoridation exceeds recommended levels; in China an estimated 200 million people receive water fluoridated at or above recommended levels.
Communities have discontinued water fluoridation in some countries, including Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. This change was often motivated by political opposition to water fluoridation, but sometimes the need for water fluoridation was met by alternative strategies. The use of fluoride in its various forms is the foundation of tooth decay prevention throughout Europe; for example, France, Germany, and many other European countries use fluoridated salt.
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