Fluoride Action Network

Does community water fluoridation affect IQ? No.

Source: Better Health Together | Author unknown
Posted on February 18th, 2021
Industry type: Misinformation
Note from Fluoride Action Network:
The following article is pure propaganda generated by fluoridation promoters.  Smile Spokane, the group spearheading the fluoridation of the city of Spokane, is affiliated with Better Health Together that published this article. Our response to their misinformation:
The New Zealand paper cited by Broadbent et al. As recognized by Dr. Philippe Grandjean, there are several glaring problems with this study, however, including the fact that virtually all of the children in the “non-fluoridated” community used fluoride supplements (a prescription drug designed to deliver the same amount of fluoride a child would get from drinking fluoridated water). FAN discusses these problems here.
The National Academies peer-review of the revised NTP report. This article mischaracterizes this review. See more here.
The study from Spain is only an abstract. The full study has not been published. In the interim why not look at the Mother-Offspring studies which reveal that the fetus and the formula-fed infant in fluoridated communities are the most vulnerable to fluoride’s neurotoxicity.
The 2018 McPherson et al. “U.S. scientists” animal study. Fluoridation proponents believe this is the best animal study on fluoride’s neurotoxicity. This study began dosing the rats with fluoride from gestational day 6. Average rat gestation is estimated at 21-23 days. The rat brain is developed by day 18. For one-third of the time during the critical development of the brain, the McPherson’s rats were not exposed to fluoride. (EC)

Several studies have examined the association between fluoride exposure and cognitive deficits and have found either no correlation or a correlation that is favorable toward cognitive outcomes.

For example:

Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand (2015)

A peer-reviewed study conducted by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) was unique because it is the only published fluoride-related paper that conducted IQ testing at multiple ages over 30 years, enhancing these scores’ reliability. This study is an apples-to-apples comparison. There is no salt fluoridation in New Zealand, and water fluoridation programs are common. This study found no link between folk’s IQ scores and growing up in a fluoridated community. Communities with water fluoridation had slightly higher IQ scores (on average), but the difference in IQ scores wasn’t statistically significant.

Review the NTP Monograph on the Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects (2020)

The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) issued a report to evaluate a monograph, which concluded that fluoride was a neurotoxin. In its report, NASEM found that this conclusion was based on evidence with “a high risk of bias.” According to NASEM, the claim is not supported by the evidence presented.

Toxicity of fluoride: a critical evaluation of evidence for human developmental neurotoxicity in epidemiological studies, animal experiments and in vitro analyses (2020)

A scientific review by the Archives of Toxicology of collected evidence does not support the claim that fluoride is a neurotoxin. This article, written by 31 experts in toxicology, neurology, and food safety, reviewed dozens of studies. The experts noted that “based on the totality of evidence,” the review did not support “the presumption that fluoride should be considered as a human developmental neurotoxicant at current exposure levels” at the fluoride levels in Europe (very similar to the levels seen in the U.S).

The Effects of Fluoride In The Drinking Water

A study by economists (2016) in Sweden relied on an extensive data set of public health registers to investigate the relationship between fluoride and cognitive ability, using labor market outcomes (employment, etc.) as a proxy. The economists found that fluoride concentrations below 1.5 mg/L had “zero effects on cognitive ability, non-cognitive ability, and education,” and they concluded that “fluoride improves labor market outcome later in life.”

Fluorinated water consumption in pregnancy and neuropsychological development of children at 14 months and 4 years of age

Research from Spain presented orally at a European conference (2019) and featured in Environmental Epidemiology showed that prenatal exposure “at the levels found in fluorinated drinking water may exert a beneficial effect on the development at 4 years of age.” Spain fluoridates several urban water systems. The authors are submitting their research to a peer-reviewed journal.

An Evaluation of Neurotoxicity Following Fluoride Exposure from Gestational Through Adult Ages in Long-Evans Hooded Rats

An animal study (2018) led by U.S. scientists at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) examined a possible fluoride-IQ link, and its authors “observed no exposure-related differences in motor, sensory, or learning and memory performance” on various tests. It’s worth noting that leading critics of fluoridation pointed to this NTP research as the study that “could end fluoridation.”

A Significant weight of the evidence shows that water is safe in communities adding fluoride.

*Original article online at http://www.betterhealthtogether.org/bold-solutions-content/does-community-water-fluoridation-affect-iq-no