Fluoride Action Network

Quotes equating effect size in Green 2019 paper to that of Lead on IQ.

Fluoride Action Network | Notes on Lead | November 20, 2019


JAMA Pediatrics published the Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada by Green et al. on August 19, 2019. Of all the studies on fluoride’s neurotoxicity, this one attracted the biggest response from the press.

Green et al. conducted this Mother-Child IQ study by following pregnant women from across Canada with a range of fluoride exposures, with the artificial water fluoridation the major source. The children whose mothers had higher fluoride exposure had lower IQ.

Portions of quotes in italics have had emphasis added to highlight the portion equating fluoride to lead.

Previous to the 2019 Green et al. paper, Phillipe Grandjean, MD, PhD, noted in 2015:

I’ve been studying human brain development in regard to exposures to lead, mercury, pesticides, solvents and when I started looking at the fluoride literature, in connection with the National Research Council’s report on fluoride a few years ago, I thought that there was a stone that we hadn’t turned. I worked with the most prominent scientist in China, where 27 studies had been done looking at communities where children have lived all their lives, actually before conception, and were exposed to the same amounts of fluoride in drinking water at different levels. They suggested that children exposed to higher levels were losing an average of 7 IQ points compared to those exposed to low amounts of fluoride…

I really hope that we’re right and that it’s safe, but I want to be sure. Because I’ve worked in this field long enough to know that with time, we have always found that lead, mercury and pesticides were more toxic than we originally thought. I am not willing to sit here and say, OK, let’s expose the next generation’s brains and just hope for the best.

Source: Radio Boston WBUR
Date: February 5, 2015
Title: Two views on water fluoridation: Grandjean vs Pollick

Source: David C. Bellinger, PhD, MSc

“The hypothesis that fluoride is a neurodevelopmental toxicant must now be given serious consideration,” Bellinger writes, noting how long it took researchers to conclude no safe lower threshold of lead exposure exists.

Source: Medscape
Date: August 19, 2019
Title: Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and IQ in Kids: Is There a Link?
By: Tara Haelle

Source: Science Magazine

After controlling for variables such as parental education level, birth weight, prenatal alcohol consumption, and household income, as well as exposure to environmental toxicants such as lead, mercury, and arsenic, they found that if a mother’s urinary fluoride levels increased by 1 milligram per liter, her son’s (but not her daughter’s) IQ score dropped by about 4.5 points. That effect is on par with the other recent studies looking at childhood IQ and low-level lead exposure.

Source: AAAS Science Magazine
Date: Aug. 19, 2019 , 11:20 AM
Title: Drinking fluoridated water during pregnancy may lower IQ in sons, controversial study says
By: Michael Price

Source: David C. Bellinger, PhD, MSc

Previous observational studies claimed to find relationships between fluoride and IQ, but most were “of poorer quality due to various weaknesses in study design,” said David Bellinger, an expert in neuroepidemiology at Boston Children’s Hospital who was not associated with this study. The methods in this report, he said, are “very similar” to studies that showed low-dose lead and pesticide toxicities.

Source: Washington Post (while the Washington Post is by subscription only, two Canadian papers published the article: Ottawa Citizen and the National Post)
Date: August 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. EDT
Title: Study raises questions about fluoride and children’s IQ
By: Ben Guarino

Source: Dimitri Christakis, JAMA Pediatrics Editor in Chief

“The effects of this study are comparable to the effects of lead, and if these findings are true there should be as much concern about prenatal fluoride exposure,” Christakis told The Daily Beast.

The findings could undermine public-health messaging, fuel conspiracy theorists, and give pregnant women something else to worry about.

Source: The Daily Beast
Date: Updated Aug. 19, 2019 6:41PM ET /Published Aug. 19, 2019 11:00AM ET
Title: Study Links Fluoridated Water During Pregnancy to Lower IQs
By: Shira Feder and Tracy Connor

Source: Dimitri Christakis, JAMA Pediatrics Editor in Chief

A must-hear twelve-minute podcast (above) featuring JAMA Pediatrics Editor in Chief, Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, and Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief of JAMA Network Open, was also released alongside the study.  The editors express how “very concerning” and “startling” the evidence is against fluoridation, and how the neurological damage is “on par with lead.”  They praise the high quality of this study, and call for additional NIH funding of more fluoride research.  Before publication, the study was subjected to two statistical reviews, with the researchers combing through the data to make sure that the results were not skewed by the mothers’ education, income levels, or other factors.


Source: JAMA Pediatrics Editors Summary on the Green et al. paper
Date: August 19, 2019

Source: Christine Till, PhD

“This is a major loss of IQ points that would have societal and economic impacts; it would definitely be felt at a population level,” said Till.

“4.5 points is a dramatic loss of IQ, comparable to what you’d see with lead exposure, and that’s why we’re so concerned.”

Source: CTV News [Canadian TV]
Date: August 19, 2019 11:05AM EDT / Updated 11:53AM EDT
Title: Higher fluoride levels during pregnancy may be linked with lower IQ scores in kids: study
By: Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca Staff