Fluoride is currently added to the drinking water supply of more than 204 million Americans to aid in the prevention of cavities; however, a recent review of some two dozen studies by Harvard University indicates that this practice could be contributing to lower IQs in children.
“The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQs than those who lived in low fluoride areas,” the Harvard research scientists stated in their analysis, published July 20 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain.” The study used data drawn from cities in China, Mexico and India where high exposures via groundwater are common.
Based on their findings, Harvard researchers expressed concerns about the potential of fluoride to cause irreversible brain damage in unborn children. “Fluoride readily crosses the placenta,” they observed. “Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature.”
Currently, activist group Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has a petition signed by over 4,000 professionals from 46 states to end water fluoridation, arguing that fluoride “works from the outside of the tooth, not from inside the body. It makes no sense to drink it and expose the rest of the body to the long term risks of fluoride ingestion when fluoridated toothpaste is readily available.”
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to advocate water fluoridation as “one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century.” Their Healthy People plan aims for 79.6% of the population to be “served by optimally fluoridated community water systems by 2020”–the current population with access to fluoridated water is 73.9%. Portland, Oregon, is currently the largest city without water fluoridation, and though they have voted against the practice three times, the city council will once again decide on the heated issue this coming September.
“Fluoride is neither safe nor effective,” said Kimberly Kaminski, executive director of Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water. “We are only now beginning to understand the many adverse affects of fluoride ingestion, especially on our most vulnerable populations – our elderly and our children. “
In addition to forced water infiltration, fluoride exposures are prevalent throughout the food supply thanks to multiple fluoride-based pesticides, which are approved for use even on organic produce. Ironically, high fluoride exposures are actually detrimental to teeth, causing dental fluorosis, a condition that breaks down tooth enamel, which in turn causes teeth to chip, decay and turn brown or black. Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water warn that “dental fluorosis damage is permanent, expensive to repair and not covered by insurance.”
Health advocates like New York Times best-selling author Dr. Joseph Mercola promote simple alternatives to boost dental health in the place of fluoride-infused water supplies, including eliminating sugar and highly processed grains–a dietary change proven to be a safe and effective method to preventing cavities.
“It’s senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment,” said attorney Paul Beeber, president of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. “Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health?”