Fluoride Action Network

Infant Exposure

"Your public water supply is fluoridated. Recent studies have discovered the possibility that infants less than 12 months old may be consuming too much fluoride, increasing their risk of dental fluorosis. Parents and caregivers can reduce this risk by using water that has very low fluoride levels or is fluoride free when mixing with liquid concentrate or powdered infant formula. Consult your healthcare provider for more information”

Start an Infant Fluoride Warning Campaign

There is no better time than now to start an infant fluoride warning campaign in your own community.  At least 41% (as possibly as high as 65%) of American adolescents have dental fluorosis as a result of overexposure to fluoride.  Public health organizations like the American Dental Association (ADA) have known for years that infants should not be consuming fluoridated water, but they have done little to educate parents and consumers for fear that it will jeopardize their work to expand fluoridation.

An infant fluoride warning on water bills and annual water quality reports is a proactive way to finally educate parents, caregivers, state officials, and public health professionals about the need to reduce infant exposure to fluoride so they can take action to prevent a further increase in the fluorosis rates and overexposure.  Click here to see a copy of FAN’s model legislation.

Since initiating our campaign in 2010, infant notices have been adopted in states and cities throughout the United States, impacting millions of residents.  In 2011, the city of Austin, Texas passed a resolution calling for the posting of infant warnings on the City’s website, in neighborhood centers, in WIC stations, and in notices sent to all Austin Water Utility customers.  Several months later, in 2012, the New Hampshire Legislature (the largest in the U.S.), the State Senate, and the Governor overwhelmingly approved HB1416, which required infant notices in all annual water quality reports, on water company websites, and in all town halls.

Only months after NH’s victory, the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin approved a resolution requiring an infant notice in annual water quality reports, posted on the water works and health department websites, and posted in all health department facilities.  In addition, the resolution also required health department personnel to inform residents about the risks of fluoridated water for infants when conducting maternal and infant home visits.

These wins got the ball rolling, and now many other communities, including large cities like San Francisco, have adopted similar warning language.  But we still need your help to keep the momentum going in the effort to educate parents and water consumers about this critical issue.

Below are the basic materials necessary to start a campaign locally.  Review all of the materials yourself to learn about the campaign, then share them with friends, colleagues, local media, your pediatrician and dentist, and with local decision-makers, such as your City Councilors or State Legislators.  While an infant warning is a great fluoride policy reform for all fluoridated communities, it is particularly helpful in communities that are forced to fluoridate by the state or county government.  In this case, while you may not be able to prohibit fluoridation at the local level, you can certainly introduce an infant warning to educated local parents and to protect local children.  An infant warning is also particularly helpful when confronting a city council that is supportive of fluoridation.  This is fluoride policy reform that even proponents can and should get behind.


Till et al. (2019) reported lower IQ at between 3 and 4 years of age.

This newest study, released on November 18, is titled Fluoride exposure from infant formula and child IQ in a Canadian birth cohort. This study was funded by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and published in Environment International. The authors “examined whether feeding status (breast-fed versus formula-fed) modified the impact of water fluoride and if fluoride exposure during fetal development attenuated this effect.” The mothers urinary fluoride (MUF) levels were used as a proxy of fetal fluoride exposure. A second model estimated the association between fluoride intake from formula and child IQ. According to the authors:

  • Consumption of formula reconstituted with fluoridated water can lead to excessive fluoride intake.
  • Breastfed infants receive very low intake of fluoride.
  • We compared IQ scores in 398 children who were formula-fed versus breastfed during infancy.
  • IQ scores were lower with higher levels of fluoride in tap water.
  • The effect was more pronounced among formula-fed children, especially for nonverbal skills




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