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Home » Daily Life

Fluoride in the Water: Comparing Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Australia

Submitted by on October 29, 2012 – 7:42 amNo Comment

Water glassMy daughter came back from the dentist the other day and reported that Vancouver does not fluoridate its water system.

Having grown up in the United States, where water fluoridation is quite routine, I was surprised to learn of this fluoride policy.

I discovered that, according to Health Canada, less than half of Canadians (roughly 45 percent) receive fluoridated water.

Although Health Canada supports water fluoridation as a way to reduce tooth decay, the decision to fluoridate water is a local one in Canada.

Toronto, Hamilton, London, and Edmonton are among the cities with fluoridated water. Water is not fluoridated in Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, or Quebec City. Calgary previously fluoridated the city water, but its city council voted in 2011 to discontinue the practice.

In the U.S., more than 70 percent of Americans — or more than 204 million people — on community water systems have fluoridated water.

The percentage is even higher in Australia, where approximately 90 percent of the population receives fluoridated water.

The U.K., like many European countries, has taken the opposite approach. Less than 10 percent of U.K. residents have fluoride added to their water supply.

One of the many unexpected things you learn when you move to a new country!

What about you? What facts surprised you when you moved abroad? Please leave a comment and share your discoveries.

Water glass photo by Greg Riegler Photography (flickr)

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