Tests were performed to compare the IQ and physical development of 7-to-14-year-old children from endemic fluorosis areas, with and without water improvement programs, with children from a nonfluorosis area. The results showed that the average IQ of children in each age group from the fluorosis area without water improvement is lower than those from either the fluorosis area with water improvement or the nonfluorosis area (P<0.01). When comparing 7-to-8 year-old children born after the implementation of the water improvement program to children of the same age group in the nonfluorosis area, no obvious difference was found. Comparisons of the height, weight, and sitting height of children in the fluorosis area without water improvement and the fluorosis area with water improvement revealed an obvious difference for the 12-to-14-year-old age group. No obvious differences were found between the fluorosis area with water improvement and the nonfluorosis area. These results show that water improvement and defluoridation can improve the mental and physical development of children in a fluorosis area.
The results of measurements of morphological indices showed that the height, weight and sitting height of children in the fluorosis area without water improvement were lower than the groups from the fluorosis area with water improvement and the non-fluorosis area. The age group that had obvious differences was mainly the 12-to-14-year-olds, which indicates that this age group is at the second rapid growth period for children’s growth and development. High fluoride delays and postpones the growth and development of children. Comparing the chest circumference among the three groups, there was no obvious difference, which indicates that high fluoride exposure had little effect on the development of chest circumference.