by Jay Syrmopoulos, The Free Thought Project:
Increased levels of prenatal fluoride exposure have been linked to lower intelligence in children, according to the results of a new study.
In the eye-opening new peer-reviewed study, published on September 19, 2017, in the Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers found strong evidence of a link between fluoride and lower cognitive function in children.
With an impact factor of 9.78, Environmental Health Perspectives is one of the most highly ranked journals in Toxicology, Public, Environmental and Occupational Health, and Environmental Sciences.
The researchers found that “higher levels of maternal urinary fluoride during pregnancy (a proxy for prenatal fluoride exposure) that are in the range of levels of exposure in other general population samples of pregnant women as well as nonpregnant adults were associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at 4 and 6–12 y old,” according to the study.
The study involved 1,576 samples taken from over 300 sets of mothers and children in Mexico by a research team from Toronto. The researchers tested the children’s cognitive development twice over the course of 12 years. In Mexico, Fluoride is not added to public water supply, but people are exposed through naturally occurring fluoride in water, toothpaste, fluoridated salt and other supplemental products.
“Childhood exposure to fluoride is safer than prenatal. There is pretty good science now to support the fact that the fetal system tends to be more sensitive to environmental toxicants than once the child is born,” said the study’s lead author, Howard Hu, founding dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, according to CNN.
The authors of the study looked for chemical markers in the urine of mothers and children, as previous studies attempted to measure fluoride exposure by analyzing environmental factors, such as water.
“Since we’re using an integrated biological marker, it will give you a fairly standardized measure,” Hu explained.
Interestingly, the study found significant effect – with an increase in urine fluoride of 1mg/l being associated with a 5 to 6 point drop in IQ score. For perspective, the average fluoride intake in Mexican mothers was roughly the same as that of women in the United States.
“The range of fluoride levels in Mexico also corresponded closely to the range found in most of the USA. The higher levels were similar to what is found in areas in the USA with fluoridated water, and the lower levels were similar to what is found in most unfluoridated parts of the USA,” according to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
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