– Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
Low Prenatal Iodine Levels Associated With More Severe Fluoride-Induced Loss of Intelligence in Boys
Three to four year old boys whose mothers had lower levels of iodine and who were exposed to fluoride as measured in the mothers’ urine, showed greater loss of intelligence as measured in IQ tests compared to boys exposed to fluoride whose mothers had adequate levels of iodine, according to a new report (Goodman, et al, 2022).
In a further analysis of the Canadian Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals Study (MIREC) by investigators at several Canadian and US universities published in the journal Nutrients July 16, the authors report, “For boys whose mothers had low iodine, a 0.5 milligram per gram increase in maternal urinary fluoride was associated with a 4.65-point lower full scale intelligence score (FSIQ). For boys whose mothers had adequate iodine, a 0.5 milligram per gram increase in maternal urinary fluoride was associated with a 2.95-point lower FSIQ score.”
“Iodine is an essential nutrient for thyroid hormone synthesis and normal thyroid function. Sufficient iodine intake is critical for optimal maternal and fetal thyroid function and normal fetal neurodevelopment. Even mild to moderate iodine deficiency in pregnancy has been linked to diminished cognitive abilities in children, though not in all studies,” write the authors.
The investigators conclude, “This is the first prospective epidemiological study to estimate the interplay between prenatal fluoride exposure and maternal iodine status in relation to child IQ in boys and girls. Our findings indicate that the association between prenatal fluoride exposure and full-scale intelligence previously identified in this cohort was exacerbated by low maternal iodine in pregnancy among boys. These results, which were found among mother-child pairs living in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities in Canada, underscore the importance of sufficient iodine intake in pregnancy to minimize the neurotoxicity of fluoride in boys.”
Additional details and interpretation of this study are available in a July 20, FAN Bulletin.
In a stunning defeat for fluoridation promoters, the board of directors of the State College Borough Water Authority voted 6-0 on July 21 to repeal water fluoridation for their system. The board will now petition the state Department of Environmental Protection to alter its permit to remove the fluoride, according to a report on statecollege.com
The authority serves 75,000 including the Pennsylvania State University. The board includes Prof. Rachel Brennan, an environmental engineer at the university, who was a leading advocate of repeal.
“It is our job as members of the water authority to do our due diligence in protection of the community,” Brennan said. “We look to science to inform us. Back when fluoride was put into the water we didn’t have those studies on neurotoxicity. We didn’t have studies on adverse effects,” she said, according to the report.
Board members and the authority’s executive director, Brian Heiser, cited many concerns regarding the fluoridation program including the source and composition of the fluoride product, risks to workers handling the hazardous chemical, environmental pollution, and the use of the water supply to deliver a medicine, in addition to concerns over fluoride’s neurotoxicity.
The sole board member who opposed repeal, Bernard Hoffnar, apparently became so distraught during the roll call that he resigned from the board without casting a vote, according to the report.
A leading thyroid biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, R. Thomas Zoeller, has highlighted the effect of endocrine disrupting chemicals, including water fluoridation, in adversely affecting the developing brains of children, and called for regulatory agencies to ban exposure to these toxins in a recent essay in Environmental Health News.
Zoeller and co-author Barbara Demeneix of the National Museum of Natural History in Paris recounted the well documented decline in Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores across Europe, the USA and Australia, and named several groups of chemicals as the cause.
“Every baby born in America (and in the developed world) is contaminated with industrial chemicals and many professionals – including numerous medical and scientific organizations – are focusing on the soup of chemicals in which we raise our children. Many of these chemicals affect brain development, especially endocrine-disrupting chemicals,” they write.
In addition to fluoride they listed phthalates, perchlorate, bisphenol A and heavy metals such as lead and mercury as the culprits.
Regarding fluoridation, they wrote, “Fluoride that is often added to drinking water is another problem for brain development. One of the most clear-cut demonstrations of the fluoride lowering effect on IQ came from Canada. A study led by Christine Till measured the IQ of Canadian children living in different cities. There was a stark contrast in IQ, equivalent to 10 points, with lower scores in children that had fluoride in their drinking water.”
Zoeller and Demeneix concluded, “Although these trends will not be reversed overnight, we must find the political will to reduce these exposures. The first step is for people to be aware of sources of contamination and avoid those sources; however, there is no face mask for endocrine disruptors. The next step is to empower regulatory agencies to effectively monitor and decrease exposure to the most common.”
The New Zealand Ministry of Health has directed fourteen district councils to fluoridate their drinking water in accordance with the new fluoridation mandate passed unanimously by the parliament earlier this year.
“Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said fluoridation is safe, affordable and effective – and will benefit everyone”, according to The Spinoff website.
The 2015 Cochrane Review found no evidence that adults benefit from water fluoridation.
The 14 local authorities that have received directives are: Whang?rei District Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Waitaki District Council, Waipa District Council, Tauranga City Council, Taurua District Council, Rotorua Lakes Council, New Plymouth District Council, Nelson City Council, Kawerau District Council, Horowhenua District Council, Hastings District Council, Far North District and Auckland Council, according to the website.
Swiss Scientists Produce Global Map of Fluoride-Rich Groundwater; Call Dental Fluorosis a ‘Health Effect’
Investigators from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology have compiled and analyzed 400,000 measurements of fluoride in groundwater from 77 countries to produce a high resolution fluoride prediction map of the world that displays the probability of groundwater fluoride exceeding the World Health Organization’s maximum contaminant level of 1.5 milligrams per liter. In the USA areas of the Texas panhandle, southwestern Arizona and the northern Great Plains are seen as most clearly plagued by naturally occurring fluoride.
“Nearly all of the affected population resides either in Asia (51–59% of total) or Africa (37–46% of total), with all other continents in all cases making up about 1% or less. Indeed, among the top 20 countries in terms of at-risk population …, 14 are found in Africa and six in Asia, with both of these continents being the most strongly affected with ~6% of the African population and ~2% of the Asian population potentially exposed to high fluoride concentrationsin drinking water,” write J. Podgorski and M. Berg in Nature Communications August 1.
The authors note, “Due to health effects including dental mottling and skeletal fluorosis, the World Health Organization maintains a maximum guideline of 1.5 mg/L in drinking water.”
Fluoridation promoters dismiss enamel mottling or dental fluorosis as a cosmetic issue not an adverse health effect. More than half the youth in the USA, where fluoride is widely added to drinking water, display some level of dental fluorosis, according to government studies.
A reclassification of dental fluorosis as an adverse health effect would likely trigger more strict regulation of exposure under the US Safe Drinking Water Act.
A survey on water fluoridation by pro-fluoridation activists in Scotland found the overwhelming majority of respondents were uninformed about fluoridation, didn’t know if their water was fluoridated, yet when asked a slanted question, expressed support for the practice.
Three members of the British Fluoridation Society, reporting in the British Dental Journal August 5, conducted a random on-street survey of 410 people, and found, “The vast majority (88%, n = 360) of the total sample had not read or heard anything about water fluoridation in the previous 12 months. A minority (36%) believed, incorrectly, that their water supply was already fluoridated compared to 47% who did not know and a smaller minority of 17% who correctly said no.”
Scotland is entirely non-fluoridated, but advocates of fluoridation have begun organizing there in line with efforts to fluoridate the rest of England.
Despite their lack of knowledge about fluoridation, over 60 % answered yes to the slanted question, “Do you think fluoride should be added to water if it can reduce tooth decay?
The respondents were not asked, “Do you think fluoride should be added to water if it reduces children’s intelligence?”
A protein that specifically exports fluoride from the tea plant’s chloroplast has been proposed as the basis for that plant’s tolerance of fluoride from soil, according to a report in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Scientists from the Anhui Agricultural University discovered the gene for this protein in the tea plant genome, and confirmed that the export protein removed fluoride by inserting the gene in bacteria, a frog and another experimental plant, and measuring its beneficial effect on various aspects of the organisms’ biochemistry.
The authors also noted that fluoride can be sequestered in the tea plant’s vacuole, a large water-filled sac that makes up most of the volume of leaf cells, but the mechanism is unknown.
“The precise molecular control mechanisms of fluoride accumulation, toxicity and detoxification, and resistance in tea are worth exploring in the future,” they conclude.
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