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Water fluoridation set to return in Israel

April 11, 2016

By Michelle Manchir

Fluoridation is expected to resume in the coming months throughout Israel after a parliamentary committee approved the Minister of Health's action, according to Dr. Shlomo Zusman, director of dental health at the Israeli Ministry of Health.
The motion comes almost two years after the country's previous health minister, Yael German, halted the decades-old fluoridation program. Ministry public health officials and the current health minister, Ya'acov Litzman, "strongly backed the restoration of fluoridation," according to a report from The Jerusalem Post.
The Knesset's (Israel's unicameral parliament) Labor, Social Welfare and Health Committee voted in March to restore fluoridation, the news story said.
Dr. Zusman, who visited ADA headquarters in September to participate in the 70th anniversary fluoridation celebration and symposium, said he helped prepare the amendment to restore fluoridation and participated in conferences in Israel on the topic, helping educate others.
The regulations require all water systems that serve 5,000 or more people to add optimal levels of fluoride, Dr. Zusman said. Ultimately, the new regulation is expected to fluoridate 80 percent of the country's population, he said, adding that communities that do not have appropriate infrastructure for it have up to two years to implement it.
"This is a very important achievement for the benefit of the health of our people in Israel — children as well as adults and elderly," said Dr. Jonathan Mann, a professor and head of community dentistry at Hadassah Medical Center, as quoted in The Jerusalem Post.