New York – February 7, 2017 – Some children in the U.S. may be consuming enough fluoride to reach doses that have the potential to lower their IQ, according to a research team headed by Dr. William Hirzy, PhD, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) senior scientist who specialized in risk assessment and published in the journal Fluoride (Oct-Dec 2016), reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
Current federal guidelines encourage the addition of fluoride chemicals into water supplies to reach 0.7 milligrams per liter. Dr. Hirzy followed EPA risk assessment guidelines to report:
“The effect of fluoride on IQ is quite large, with a predicted mean 5 IQ point loss when going from a dose of 0.5 mg/F/day to 2.0 mg F/day.”
Many children in the U.S. commonly consume these levels of fluoride within this range from all sources (i.e. water, food, dental products, medicines, air pollution).
Dr. Hirzy explains the significance of this study:
“The significance of this peer reviewed risk analysis is that it indicates there may be no actual safe level of exposure to fluoride.”
Groups of children with lower exposures to fluoride were compared with groups having higher exposures. Those with higher exposures performed more poorly on IQ tests than those with lower exposures.
Applying two different standard risk analysis techniques used by the U.S. EPA to published data on the impact of fluoride exposure in children shows that daily intakes in excess of about 0.05 mg of fluoride may result in depressed intellectual capability. This calculation involved using safety factors designed to protect the most vulnerable child.
One well-conducted Chinese study indicated that children exposed to 1.4 mg/day had their IQ lowered by 5 IQ points. Current average mean daily intakes among children in the United States are estimated by EPA to range from about 0.80 mg/day to 1.65 mg/day.
Fluoride may be similar to lead and mercury in having no threshold below which exposures may be considered safe.
Bill Osmunson, DDS, FAN’s Interim Director noted that this study adds further weight to the Petition submitted to the U.S. EPA by FAN and other groups in November to ban the addition of fluoride chemicals to the drinking water under provisions in the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA has until February 20th, 2017 to rule on this Petition.