NEW YORK, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fluoride joins lead, arsenic, methylmercury, toluene, tetrachloroethylene, and other chemicals known to cause harm to brains, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Fluoride is newly classified as a developmental neurotoxin by medical authorities in the March 2014 journal Lancet Neurology. The authors are Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine.
The authors write "A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to ﬂuoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations." The majority of these 27 studies had water fluoride levels which the US Environmental Protection Agency currently allows in the US – less than 4 milligrams per liter.
Developmental neurotoxins are capable of causing widespread brain disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other cognitive impairments. The harm is often untreatable and permanent.
Grandjean and Landrigan write, "Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, truncating future achievements, and damaging societies, perhaps most seriously in developing countries."
The authors say it's crucial to control the use of all harmful chemicals to protect children's brain development. They propose mandatory testing of these chemicals and the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse to evaluate them for potential neurotoxicity.
"Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain," Grandjean says. "The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us."
Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director says, "In light of the new classification of fluoride as a dangerous neurotoxin, adding more fluoride to American's already excessive intake no longer has any conceivable justification. We should follow the evidence and try to reduce fluoride intake, not increase it."
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 276 million Americans are consuming fluoridated drinking water, largely as a result of the CDC's vigorous advocacy to maintain and increase those numbers.
But The CDC's own evidence reveals Americans already show signs of fluoride-overexposure and reports that 41% of American teenagers have dental fluorosis, a physical marker that they ingested too much fluoride while their teeth were forming. Evidence also shows these markers in the US are not decreasing over time, but are increasing.
Connett asks, "Why would the CDC persist in going against the tide of evidence to promote higher fluoride intake. Sadly, it seems, health agencies in fluoridated countries seem to be more intent on protecting the fluoridation program than protecting children's brains."
More information about how fluoride affects the brain can be found here: http://www.FluorideAction.Net/issues/health/brain
SOURCE Fluoride Action Network