Decision to Publish Study on Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy

By Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH

This decision to publish this article was not easy. Given the nature of the findings and their potential implications, we subjected it to additional scrutiny for its methods and the presentation of its findings. The mission of the journal is to ensure that child health is optimized by bringing the best available evidence to the fore. Publishing it serves as testament to the fact that JAMA Pediatrics is committed to disseminating the best science based entirely on the rigor of the methods and the soundness of the hypotheses tested, regardless of how contentious the results may be. That said, scientific inquiry is an iterative process. It is rare that a single study provides definitive evidence. This study is neither the first, nor will it be the last, to test the association between prenatal fluoride exposure and cognitive development. We hope that purveyors and consumers of these findings are mindful of that as the implications of this study are debated in the public arena.

Study:  Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada.
Authors: Green R, Lanphear B, Hornung R, Flora D, Martinez-Mier EA, Neufeld R, Ayotte P, Muckle G, Till C.
Journal: JAMA Pediatrics, published August 19, 2019

*See also “Is Fluoride Potentially Neurotoxic?” an editorial by David C. Bellinger, PhD, MSc

*Original editorial note online at