Fluoride Action Network

Studies: All Infant Formula Contains Fluoride at Tooth-Discoloring Levels

Source: New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. | Email: nyscof@aol.com / Phone: 516-433-8882
Posted on October 21st, 2009

New York – October 21, 2009 – All infant formulas, whether ready-to-feed, concentrated or organic, contain fluoride at levels which can discolor developing teeth, reports the October 2009 Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) (1).

Fluoride, added to some bottled and public water supplies ostensibly to prevent cavities, is also in many foods and beverages, including infant formula. Excessive fluoride discolors and/or weakens permanent teeth (moderate fluorosis).

Researchers measured fluoride content of 49 infant formulas. See: ?http://www.freewebs.com/fluoridation/infantformulafluoride.htm

The research team concludes, “Most infants from birth to age 12? months who consume predominantly powdered and liquid concentrate formula are likely to exceed the upper tolerable limit [of fluoride] if the formula is reconstituted with optimally fluoridated water (0.7 ?- 1.2 ppm).”

Surprisingly, the study reveals that all 6-month-olds and younger will also exceed the lower “adequate intake” (0.01 mg/day) from all? formulas (concentrated or not) risking moderate dental fluorosis from formula, alone. (2)

Breast milk contains about 250 times less fluoride than “optimally” fluoridated water and isn’t linked to fluorosis.

“Babies don’t need fluoride and fluoride ingestion doesn’t reduce? tooth decay,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. “So why are US babies still ?exposed to unnecessary fluoride chemicals via the water and food supplies and why aren’t parents informed of the consequences?” asks ?Beeber.

Up to 48% of school children have fluorosed teeth – 4% severe, reports the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (3).

Both the CDC and the American Dental Association’s web sites advise parents to avoid mixing fluoridated water into concentrated infant ?formula, but they have never effectively broadcast this information to parents or the media (4,5).

A review of human studies by different researchers published in JADA ?(July 2009) concluded, “Our systematic review indicated that the ?consumption of infant formula [concentrated and ready-to-feed] is, on average, associated with an increased risk of developing at least some ?detectable level of enamel fluorosis.” (6)

“Parents, protect your children since dental and government agencies won’t. Petition local and state legislators to stop adding unnecessary ?and harmful fluoride chemicals into public water supplies and, thereby, into our food supply,” says Beeber. “Further, demand that the ?fluoride content of all food products be required on labels.”

Researchers agree with Beeber. “One interpretation of the available evidence would be that public health officials should create ?guidelines for infant formula consumption ensuring that the upper intake level established by the Institute of Medicine… is not? exceeded. Another approach would be to strive for ‘biological ?normality’ and to strive for fluoride levels observed in breast milk,” write Hujoel et al. in “Infant Formula and Enamel Fluorosis: A Systematic Review.” (6)

A recent investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found? that over-exposure to fluoride among infants is a widespread problem? in most major American cities. EWG’s study found that, on any given day, up to 60% of formula-fed babies in US cities were exceeding the Institute of Medicine’s “upper tolerable” limit for fluoride. (6a)

In 2004, fluoride researcher Dr. Teresa A. Marshall told Reuters Health, “Very young infants are unlikely to benefit from the caries-prevention effects of fluoride…They may be at increased risk of dental? fluorosis.” (7) Marshall co-authored “Associations between Intakes of Fluoride from Beverages during Infancy and Dental Fluorosis of Primary Teeth,” in the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition. (b)

In 2000, researcher A K Mascaren has evaluating only well-conducted studies from the 1980s through the 1990s concluded in Pediatric Dentistry that infant formula was a major risk factor for dental? fluorosis. (8)

As part of the on-going Iowa Fluoride Study, Levy and his team measured the fluoride content of infant formula and found from 0.15 to 0.30 ppm in ready-to-feed infant formula. (9)

Common household water filters (e.g. carbon filters) do not remove fluoride; and unlike chlorine, which dissipates upon boiling, fluoride becomes more concentrated. Only distillation, reverse osmosis and? political activism removes fluoride from tap water.

USDA: Fluoride-content of common foods: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=6312

Pictures of fluorosis ?http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/teeth/fluorosis/moderate-severe.html


1) “Assessing a potential risk factor for enamel fluorosis: a ?preliminary evaluation of fluoride content in infant formulas,” ?Journal of the American Dental Association October 2009

2) http://fluoridation.webs.com/intakefromformula.htm

3) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/s403a1t23.gif

4) http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/infant_formula.htm

5) http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/pubs/adanews/adanewsarticle.asp?art…

6) “Infant Formula and Enamel Fluorosis: A Systematic Review,” Journal of the American Dental Association by Hujoel, et al, July 2009

6a) “National Academy Calls for Lowering Fluoride Limits in Tap Water,” EWG News Release, March 2006 http://www.ewg.org/node/21000

7) “Too Much Fluoride May Harm Babies’ Teeth,” Reuters Health, May 5, 2004 ?http://www.fluoridealert.org/media/2004c.html

8) Pediatric Dentistry. July-August 2000. “Risk factors for dental fluorosis: a review of the recent literature,” by Mascarenhas AK ?http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10969430?dopt=Abstract

9) Dental Clinics of North America 47(2003), “Current and future role of fluoride in nutrition,” by Warren & Levy, 225-243 .

More evidence that infant formula is linked to dental fluorosis:

(The following is compiled by the Fluoride Action Network ?http://www.fluoridealert.org/health/infant/index.html)

a) “[F]luoride intakes during each of the first 4 years were?individually significantly related to fluorosis on maxillary central ?incisors, with the first year most important, followed by the second, third, and fourth year .” ?SOURCE: Hong L, Levy SM, et al. (2006). Timing of fluoride intake in relation to development of fluorosis on maxillary central incisors. ?Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 34(4):299-309.

b) “Our data suggest that the fluoride contribution of water used to ?reconstitute infant feedings is a major determinant of primary tooth ?fluorosis.” ?SOURCE: Marshall TA, et al. (2004). Associations between Intakes of Fluoride from Beverages during Infancy and Dental Fluorosis of Primary Teeth. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 23:108-16.

c) “Our results suggest that breastfeeding infants may help to protect against fluorosis. This is consistent with other studies that suggest ?that consuming infant formula reconstituted with tap water increases ?the risk for dental fluorosis. Importantly, this study shows that the ?protective effect of breastfeeding is important not only in ?fluoridated communities but also in nonfluoridated areas. Parents ?should therefore be advised that they may be able to protect their ?children from dental fluorosis by breastfeeding their infant and by ?extending the duration for which they breastfeed.” ?SOURCE: Brothwell D, Limeback H. (2003). Breastfeeding is protective ?against dental fluorosis in a nonfluoridated rural area of Ontario, ?Canada. Journal of Human Lactation 19: 386-90.

d) “The findings of this investigation suggest that nearly 10 percent of the enamel fluorosis cases in optimally fluoridated areas could be ?explained by having used infant formula in the form of a powdered ?concentrate during the first year.” ?SOURCE: Pendrys DG. (2000). Risk of enamel fluorosis in nonfluoridated and optimally fluoridated populations: considerations for the dental professional. Journal of the American Dental Association 131(6): ?746-55.

e) “The findings indicate that early mineralizing teeth (central ?incisors and first molars) are highly susceptible to dental fluorosis ?if exposed to fluoride from the first and – to a lesser extent – also ?from the 2nd year of life.” ?SOURCE: Bardsen A, Bjorvatn K. (1998). Risk periods in the development ?of dental fluorosis. Clinical Oral Investigations 2:155-160.

f) “There was a strong association between mild-to-moderate fluorosis on later forming enamel surfaces and infant formula use in the form of?powdered concentrate (OR=10.77, 95% CI 1.89-61.25).” ?SOURCE: Pendrys DG, Katz RV. (1998). Risk factors for enamel fluorosis ?in optimally fluoridated children born after the US manufacturers’ ?decision to reduce the fluoride concentration of infant formula. ?American Journal of Epidemiology 148:967-74.

g) “[T]he odds ratio of fluorosis on enamel zones that began forming during the first year of life was 8.31 for children exposed since ?birth or during the first year of life relative to those exposed after ?1 year of age. The odds that a child had a maxillary central incisor ?with fluorosis were 5.69 times higher if exposure occurred during the ?first year of life compared with exposure after 1 year of age. Only ?those exposed to the high-fluoride water during the first year of life ?developed fluorosis on the mandibular central incisors… The first year of life was a significant period for developing fluorosis on the ?mandibular and maxillary central incisors.” ?SOURCE: Ismail AI, Messer JG. (1996). The risk of fluorosis in ?students exposed to a higher than optimal concentration of fluoride in well water. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 56:22-7.

h) “It appears that, at least under some circumstances, high intakes of fluoride during the early months of life may make the difference ?between developing or failing to develop dental fluorosis. A study ?conducted in Sweden of 12- and 13-year-old children who had lived ?since birth in a community with 1.2 ppm of fluoride in the drinking ?water demonstrated that dental fluorosis was less common in those who ?had been breast-fed during the first 4 months of life than in those ?who had been fed powdered formulas reconstituted with tap water ?(Forsman, 1977). A somewhat similar study in the United States ?demonstrated that among 7- to 13-year-old children (most of them ?living in a community with fluoride concentration of the drinking ?water 1 mg/L), the prevalence of mild enamel fluorosis was ?significantly greater in those who had been fed concentrated liquid ?formula diluted with tap water during the first 3 months of life than ?in those who had been breast-fed during this time (Walton and Messer, ?1981). It seems reasonable to conclude that the lower prevalence of?fluorosis of the permanent teeth of individuals who were breast-fed ?during the early months of life is related to the low fluoride ?concentrations of human milk – concentrations less than 7 ug/L ?regardless of the concentration of fluoride in the women’s drinking ?water.” ?SOURCE: Ekstrand J, et al. (1994). Absorption and retention of dietary ?and supplemental fluoride by infants. Advances in Dental Research ?8:175-80.