Objective: To study the effect of fluoride and arsenic exposure in drinking water on children’s intelligence ,and to provide scientific basis for children’s health protection.
Methods: Two hundred and sixty-eight pupils in Hangjinhou Qi,Inner Mongolia were selected as subjects. Fluoride and arsenic in drinking water were determined. The Chinese combined Raven’s Test was applied to evaluate the intelligence of children. In addition, the questionnaire survey was conducted to find out information including general information of households, source of drinking water, health of subjects and intelligence-related factors.
Results: The average concentrations of fluoride and arsenic in drinking water were (1.24±0.74) mg/L and (0.13±0.16) mg/L, which were higher than limits of national standard. The intelligence quotient (95.9±14.2) of girls exposed to arsenic >0.05 mg/L in drinking water was lower than IQ of girls (101.3±13.2) exposed to low level arsenic (<0.05 mg/L). IQ of boys had not been observed significant difference between high and low level of arsenic exposure. Adjusted OR of effect of arsenic on girls’ IQ was 2.81. On the other hand, IQs of children exposed to high and low level of fluoride in drinking water showed no significant difference.
Conclusion: Children’s exposure to arsenic of high concentration in drinking water probably has adverse effects on their intelligence development in some degree. Girls’ IQ seem more susceptible to arsenic.