Before discovering fluoride's side effects, the chemical has been added to US' water supply for decades. Several studies found that too much fluoride could cause dental problems.
Now studies reveal that the chemical may be detrimental to cognitive development too. Children, in particular, are more susceptible to the negative effects of fluoride.
The study, which involved studying 300 sets of children and mothers in Mexico, found that fluoride exposure decreases cognitive development among children exposed to it.
For decades, many groups have fought against the inclusion of fluoride in publicly supplied water, arguing that the risks of mass fluoride consumption outweigh the purported benefits. Now, a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives has added to the scientific literature that suggests that fluoride negatively impacts human intelligence, especially in children and infants.
The study, surprisingly, was widely reported in the U.S. mainstream media despite the fact that its findings contradict the government’s official position regarding the safety of fluoride.
The study examined nearly 300 sets of mothers and children living in Mexico and tested the children’s cognitive development twice over a 12 year period. A drop in scores on intelligence tests was observed for every 0.5 milligram-per-liter increase in fluoride exposure beyond 0.8 milligrams per liter found in maternal urine. While researchers found a potential connection to prenatal fluoride exposure, they found no significant influence of fluoride exposure on brain development once a child was born.
While the study is likely to cause concern for mothers-to-be around the world, the findings of this study will be of particular concern for those living in areas where public water is fluoridated. In Mexico, where the study was conducted, fluoride is not added to public water supplies and fluoride exposure largely occurs via naturally occurring fluoride in the environment, fluoridated salt and supplements. In contrast, three-quarters of the U.S. population is exposed to fluoride through public water, in addition to other sources of fluoride such as fluoridated toothpaste.
Image courtesy of: Conspiracy Debunked