Friday, September 22, 2017

Prenatal Fluoride Exposure Lowers Babies’ Intelligence, Study Shows

Pregnant women’s urine fluoride levels are linked to lower intelligence in their offspring, according to a US government-sponsored study published in Environmental Health Perspectives (September 2017), and at levels commonly found in US adults.

Fluoridation lobbyists cavalierly dismissed this study because it was conducted on women from Mexico which makes it irrelevant to the US, they claim.  However, urine fluoride levels in healthy US adults in US fluoridated areas are similar and is a measure of one's total fluoride intake from all sources. 

The lead researcher, Dr. Howard Hu, also disagrees with their assessment. He is quoted in the media as saying “This is a very rigorous epidemiology study. You just can’t deny it. It’s directly related to whether fluoride is a risk for the neurodevelopment of children. So, to say it has no relevance to the folks in the US, seems disingenuous.”

Most US water suppliers add unnecessary fluoride chemicals into public water supplies in a failed attempt to reduce tooth decay for political not scientific reasons.

Hu says the study “also suggests that the prenatal nervous system may be more sensitive to fluoride compared to that of school-aged children.”

This new careful investigation, by respected researchers from respected institutions and published in a respected peer-reviewed journal, adds to a frightening trend.  Over 300  studies  now link fluoride to neurotoxic effects – 50 of them human – over 20 at fluoride levels allowed in US water supplies. Taken together, with this new study added, the evidence is now very strong that fluoride exposures common in the USA is causing IQ loss in at least some children.

A New Zealand study (Broadbent, et al) is often touted as proof fluoride is not neurotoxic.  However, that study showed no difference in total fluoride intake between children in fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas since most of the children in nonfluoridated areas were given fluoride supplements.

According to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), “The loss of IQ is very large.  The child of a mother who was drinking 1 ppm fluoride water would be predicted to have 5 to 6 IQ points lower than if the mother had drunk water with close to zero fluoride in it… Such a drop of IQ in the whole population would half the number of very bright children (IQ greater than 130) and double the number of mentally handicapped (IQ less than 70).”

The researchers adjusted for a wide range of other factors including lead, mercury, socio-economic status, smoking, alcohol use, and health problems during pregnancy.

Urine fluoride is a good indicator of total fluoride intake from all sources. When drinking water is the dominant source of fluoride, urine fluoride and water fluoride are usually about the same So, the average urine fluoride level in this study of 0.9 mg/L implies that women were ingesting the same amount of fluoride as women drinking water with 0.9 mg/L fluoride, according to FAN.

Up until 2011, government agencies advised artificially fluoridating water up to 1.2 mg/L.  Because of the growing dental fluorosis epidemic, they revised it downward to 0.7 mg/L.  But it’s just a recommendation. Not all water suppliers comply. Also, many US communities are served naturally fluoridated water up to 4 mg/L.

Fluoridated water is not the only fluoride source that adds to the bodies total fluoride burden.  Virtually all foods and beverages have some fluoride. Fluoride is absorbed into the bloodstream from topical application of fluoridated dental products and is a component of air pollution.

Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a pediatrician who studies environmental exposures and health problems at New York University Langone Health  said to Newsweek: “This is a very well-conducted study, and it raises serious concerns about fluoride supplementation in water. These new insights raise concerns that the prenatal period may be highly vulnerable and may require additional reconsideration.” 

Fluoridation lobbyists, such as the American Dental Association, the American Fluoridation Society and the Children’s Dental Health Project (sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics) erroneous claim that
Mexican mothers had fluoride exposures higher than found in the USA and therefore the study isn’t applicable to American women.  They fail to understand the urine levels come from a mix of sources.  What’s relevant is that the fluoride levels found in Mexican mothers urine is similar to that found in Americans regardless of the sources of exposure.

After fluoride gets into the body and can be measured in the urine, as was done in this study, it is immaterial what the original source of that fluoride is.  The fluoride may have come from fluoridated water, fluoridated salt, swallowed toothpaste, fluoride supplements,  dental office fluoride treatments and/or air pollution.  Once fluoride  is ingested or absorbed into the bloodstream, it is all the same in terms of toxic effects on the fetus.  The developing brain in the fetus can't tell which source the fluoride came from.

This study was performed by respected leading researchers in environmental neurotoxins.  It was funded by $3 million in grants from the US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
. It was published in the premier journal for environmental health after undergoing peer-review. 

Understandably, this study cuts to the heart of the dental profession's support of fluoride to combat dental decay.  But rather than a knee-jerk reaction to deny the importance of this study in the interests of teeth, perhaps dentists should take a more holistic perspective and consider the entire child, including his cognitive development.  How many IQ points loss would you consider is worth one cavity prevented???

                             END FLUORIDATION