Fluoride Action Network


Background: New research suggesting fluoride is a developmental neurotoxicant highlights the importance of characterizing fluoride exposure in children. Fluoride is added to salt in Mexico and to drinking water in Canada to prevent dental caries. We examined the association of childhood urinary fluoride (CUF) with food and water fluoride levels in Mexico and Canada, respectively.

Methods: We included 551 children (ages 4-6) from the Programming Research in Obesity, Growth, Environment and Social Stress (PROGRESS) cohort in Mexico City, and 522 children (ages 2-6) from the Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) cohort in Canada. We applied Spearman correlations, T-tests or covariate adjusted linear regression to examine associations of CUF (mg/L; adjusted for specific gravity) with demographics and food or water fluoride concentrations. We used equivalence testing to compare cohort means.

Results: Median (IQR) CUF concentrations were 0.67 (0.36) in PROGRESS, 0.56 (0.76) in fluoridated Canadian communities, and 0.35 (0.53) in non-fluoridated Canadian communities. Mean+/-SD CUF was equivalent in PROGRESS (0.74+/-0.42) and fluoridated Canadian communities (0.79+/-0.71), but lower in non-fluoridated Canadian communities (0.55+/-0.60, t (276)=-6.02, p<.001). CUF tended to increase with age in PROGRESS (p=.10, p=.02) and MIREC (p=.17, p<.001). In MIREC, CUF was higher in males (0.79+/-0.74) than females (0.54+/-0.58, p<.001); however, no sex differences were observed in PROGRESS (p=.97). In MIREC, water fluoride concentrations (median=0.2 mg/L) were significantly associated with CUF after covariate adjustment for age and sex (B=0.36, 95%CI: 0.11, 0.61, p=.005). Daily food and beverage fluoride intake (median=624.41 mcg/day) was not associated with CUF in PROGRESS (p=.89).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that the magnitude of fluoride exposure is comparable among children in Mexico City and fluoridated Canadian communities, despite different sources of exposure. Further studies are needed to clarify whether higher CUF among older children reflects different exposure patterns, sources of exposure or age-related toxicokinetics.

*Abstract in the Conference Abstract E-Book at http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/isee2020.abstract-e-book..pdf

This abstract was presented in SYMPOSIUM 20 at the virtual 32nd Conference of ISEE.

Author affiliations:

Green R, York University, Toronto, ON, CANADA

Till C, York University, Toronto, ON, CANADA

Cantoral A, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, MEXICO

Lanphear B, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, CANADA

Martinez-Mier EA, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

Ayotte P, Laval University, Quebec City, QC, CANADA

Wright RJ, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Wright RO, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Tellez-Rojo M, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, MEXICO

Arora M, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Malin A, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.