NEW YORK, Nov. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A study published this week found a large decrease in the IQ of children who had been fed infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated tap water, compared to formula-fed children living in unfluoridated areas. The study by a research team based at York University, Toronto, followed a large cohort of Canadian mother-child pairs through age 3-4 years and found an average drop of over 4 IQ points for children in fluoridated areas, reports Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
This is the fifth recent study finding neurotoxic harm from early life exposure to fluoride, from two research groups funded with $4 million from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).
This study comes on the heels of a comprehensive review of all existing human and animal studies of fluoride neurotoxicity. The review, by the National Toxicology Program of NIEHS, identified 149 human studies and 339 animal studies, but did not include the two most recent NIEHS-funded studies. Based on the large number, quality, and consistency of the studies, it concluded fluoride was a "presumed" neurotoxin. The draft review is equivocal about effects at low exposures, but these newest high-quality mother-child studies support a conclusion that artificially fluoridated water causes substantial IQ reductions. The size of the effect has been likened to that from lead by experts in the field.
The authors of the newest paper note that fluoride's dental benefits come almost exclusively from topical contact once teeth have erupted into the mouth. They conclude:
"In the absence of any benefit from fluoride consumption in the first six months, it is prudent to limit fluoride exposure by using non-fluoridated water or water with lower fluoride content as a formula diluent."
Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Director added, "Fluoride levels in mothers' milk are very low (less than 0.01 ppm). Thus, breastfeeding protects the infant from fluoride. This study shows formula made with fluoridated water at 0.7 ppm removes that protection with harmful consequences to the infant's developing brain. Research consistently shows that fluoride is a threat to both the fetal and infant brain. Unfortunately, low-income mothers cannot always afford non-fluoridated water. These children are also the least able to afford loss of IQ. The only practical and ethical solution is to stop adding fluoridation chemicals to drinking water."
SOURCE Fluoride Action Network