The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) launched a nationwide billboard and poster campaign warning parents that fluoride, served to over 270 million Americans in their tap water, and often mixed with infant formula, is classified as a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity” by the EPA.
The billboards ask, “Do you really want your child to drink a neurotoxic chemical?” and urge citizens to “stop artificial water fluoridation,” and to get more information from FAN’s science-based website FluorideACTION.net. The first billboards are in Fircrest and Tacoma, Washington, as campaigners around the country prepare to follow suit.
Fluoride chemicals are added to public water supplies in a futile attempt to reduce tooth decay. Even fluoridation promoters now admit that, if fluoride works at all, it works topically. So, there is no need to swallow it.
Fluoride was recently classified by leading scientists Philip Landrigan and Philippe Grandjean as a developmental neurotoxin in the March 2014 journal Lancet Neurology, and research now shows that fluoride can damage the fetal brain, adversely affect newborn babies’ behavior, damage the central nervous system of fluoride-exposed workers, and affect performance on neurological assessment tests. Forty-four human studies now show fluoride reduces IQ; 17 at levels the US EPA claims are safe. Over 100 animal studies show fluoride can directly damage the brain; with another 30 animal studies showing fluoride impairs learning or memory — including four published in 2014.
“Unfortunately, fluoridation promotion is not science-based but is politically motivated. While it’s important to avoid fluoridated water especially for infants, it’s imperative that parents contact legislators and tell them to stop adding unnecessary fluoride chemicals into the public’s water supply,” says Paul Connett, PhD, FAN Executive Director and co-author of The Case Against Fluoride.
Developmental neurotoxins are capable of causing widespread brain disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other cognitive impairments.
In March, an article published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health was the first to systematically look at the relationship between the behavioral disorder and water fluoridation. The study, “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” found that “each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011.”
Besides being unaware of fluoride’s neurotoxicity, most parents are not informed that routinely mixing infant formula with fluoridated water increases babies’ risk of dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) without any benefit. Bottle-fed infants in fluoridated communities get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies. The CDC reports that 41% of teenagers have dental fluorosis – a physical marker that too much fluoride was ingested while their teeth formed. Dental fluorosis is increasing. Black and Hispanic children have higher rates of fluorosis than White children.
“The last children that need to lose IQ points are children from low-income families, and yet they are precisely the children being especially targeted with fluoridation programs, largely because 80% of US dentists will not treat children on Medicaid,” says Connett .
“This is a classic case of good intentions going awry,” said Dr. William Hirzy, a former risk assessment specialist at the US EPA and FAN’s Washington, DC, representative.
John Mishko, a Fircrest chiropractor who helped to raise the money to rent six billboards in the area is heartened that local dentists who have done their homework are speaking out against fluoridation. Mishko says, “Together we have done everything we can think of to get our local and state officials to end this well-intentioned but outdated practice. But, as long as the majority of the public is unaware of the dangers involved – especially the threat to our children’s brains – we can make little progress. The media is not helping us to get the message to them – so we have been forced to use this method.”
Connett says, “If our government agencies (HHS, CDC, FDA and EPA), professional bodies (ADA, AMA, APHA etc) and the media were to do a professional job on this issue, the continuation of fluoridation would be unthinkable. Sadly, they are not. And the public is not being informed of the dangers posed by fluoridation. So FAN must do the job for them.”
The Fluoride Action Network is the leading educational and advocacy organization on issues of fluoride toxicity, and remains vigilant in monitoring government actions that threaten to impact the public’s exposure to fluoride.