Pregnant women’s fluoride exposure is linked to lower IQ in their children at one- to three-years-old, according to a study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine (2018), and at levels commonly found in U.S. women, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Researchers, Thomas et al., found that, for every increase of 1 milligram per liter of fluoride in pregnant women’s urine, their offspring averaged 2.4 points lower IQ scores at age 1-3 years-old. This finding is statistically significant and was adjusted for confounders.
They write, our findings “suggest higher in utero exposure to fluoride has an adverse impact on offspring cognitive development that can be detected earlier, in the first three years of life.”
This builds upon previous research from the same prestigious team funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showing in utero fluoride levels associated with lower IQ in 4 and 6-12 year-olds (Environmental Health Perspectives, 2017)
Although fluoridated salt rather than fluoridated water was the main source of fluoride in Mexican pregnant women in these two studies, fluoride intake is similar and applicable to those consuming artificially fluoridated water. For example, the Mexican women’s urine fluoride levels are similar to levels found in pregnant women in fluoridated New Zealand(Brough et al. 2015).
Michael Connett, JD, FAN’s Legal Director said, “This new finding from NIH’s fluoride/IQ study further strengthens the evidence of fluoride’s neurotoxicity. The fluoride levels at issue in the study are within the range that pregnant women in the U.S. will receive, so the findings are clearly relevant to our ongoing case against the EPA.”
Michael leads FAN’s legal challenge against the EPA, under the Toxic Substance and Control Act, to ban the deliberate addition of fluoride chemicals into public water supplies, ostensibly to fight tooth decay.
Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Director says, “The scientific evidence that swallowing fluoride lowers tooth decay is very weak. Even if it did, what’s more important children’s brains or teeth? The archaic practice of fluoridation must end.”
FAN’s Campaign Director Stuart Cooper adds, “Even though U.S. agencies funded this important study, they are doing nothing to notify or warn pregnant women in fluoridated communities of this potential threat to the brain development of their children. If they won’t, we will.”
FAN’s position is growing in popularity, but still defied conventional wisdom. The American Dental Association continues to argue pregnant women who are “already brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth once a day, keep up the good work! If not, there’s no better time to start, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Talk to your dentist about your routine and if you should make any changes.”
The link and concern about IQ and fluoride are not new. In fact it has been debated for as long as fluoride has been considered a helpful preventative to tooth decay.