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New Evidence of Harm from Fluoridation

By Stuart Cooper
Campaign Manager, Fluoride Action Network (FAN)

Just when you thought the evidence against fluoridation couldn’t get any more damning, several new studies and reviews have been published so far in just the past five months that ought to condemn fluoridation to the history books once and for all.

The video above features a brief overview by Dr. Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), about the health risks of water fluoridation you may have not been aware of.

Water Fluoridation Linked to Higher Prevalence of ADHD

A new study links water fluoridation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States. The study,1 entitled: “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” was published in the journal Environmental Health in February.

According to the authors:

“State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.

A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1 percent increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011.

Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.

Conclusions: Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies.”

Elevated Hypothyroidism Rates Linked to Fluoride Consumption in the UK

Also in February, a major fluoridation study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health–a British Medical Journal (BMJ) publication—and it’s already getting major media attention.2

The study3,4,5 is a large observational evaluation of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. It’s the first study to ever look at fluoridation and hypothyroidism in a large population, in this case, England.

It found a relatively strong and statistically significant effect, with General Practice (GP) areas being 62 percent more likely to have high rates of diagnosed hypothyroidism if their drinking water fluoride levels were above 0.7ppm compared to areas with fluoride levels below 0.3ppm.

This was after researchers had accounted for key confounders, which are other factors that influence hypothyroid rates.

An additional comparison was performed of two large metropolitan regions, one that is artificially fluoridated at a level of about 1.0 ppm (greater Birmingham area), and the other which is nearby and similar demographics but is not artificially fluoridated (greater Manchester),

The study found a 94 percent greater probability that GPs in fluoridated Birmingham would have high hypothyroidism rates compared to Manchester. For all of England, the prevalence rate of hypothyroidism was almost 10 percent greater in those GPs with higher fluoride levels compared to those with lowest levels.

The findings led to the researchers calling for a “rethink of public health policy to fluoridate the water supply,” adding “consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop [those] reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions.”

Fluoride Is an Endocrine Disruptor

According to FAN’s Science Director, Chris Neurath:

“Scientific and medical research stretching back to the 1920s has shown that fluoride can affect the thyroid. The levels of fluoride exposure known to lower thyroid function overlap with the levels of exposure known to occur in some people drinking artificially fluoridated water.

Hypothyroidism is a very common disorder in the US. It can have serious adverse health effects. Reduced thyroid function in pregnant women is linked to reduced IQ in their children.

There is accumulating evidence that fluoride, at levels within the range fluoridated populations are exposed to, is associated with lowered IQ. Fluoride’s effect on thyroid function might be the mechanism by which it lowers IQ.”

The article notes that “thyroid dysfunction is a common endocrine disorder…” The first time fluoride was labeled an endocrine disrupter was in the 2006 report6 of the National Resource Council of the National Academies.

According to the National Institutes of Health,7 “Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming.”

As far as we know, promoters pushing fluoridation have never referred to this ominous label. FAN’s study tracker8 also contains a number of previous studies showing fluoride has a detrimental effect on thyroid health.

New IQ Study Links Fluorosis to Neurotoxicity

There are over 100 animal experiments linking fluoride consumption to a decrease in IQ. Thirty-one animal experiments out of 33 that investigated animal behavior also showed learning and memory problems associated with fluoride consumption, and 43 out of 50 human studies have shown that modest levels of fluoride negatively affect IQ. The video below features Michael Connett of the Fluoride Action Network giving a presentation on the mounting evidence that fluoride reduces IQ in children.

Twenty-seven of these studies were recently reviewed by a team from Harvard School of Public Health. Twenty-six of these studies showed a decrease in IQ (an average drop of 7 points), and the average fluoride level in the water for 20 of these studies was only 3.52 ppm, which is lower than the current safe drinking standard in the US for fluoride of 4.0ppm.

Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that a new study on fluoride’s impact on IQ further proves the neurotoxicity of the drinking water additive. This new pilot study9 in China looked at lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children. It was carried out at fluoride levels that overlap levels used in US fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study, but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards.

Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well on this specific mental development test, compared to children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellenger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity. Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean, and in an editorial on his website Chemical Brain Drain10 he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. Grandjean writes:

“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth… Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.”


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