Fluoride in the water doesn’t impact intelligence: Study

by L&D14 Sep 2016
The claim that exposure to fluoride used in community water is toxic to the developing brain and harms intelligence is baloney, according to new research.

The Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) report looked at more than 60 years of scientific research and 3,000 studies. It found that adding fluoride to public drinking supplies is completely safe and is only a positive in terms of health outcomes.

The findings are backed up by research from the University of Otago in 2014 which found no significant differences in IQ by fluoride exposure. The researchers also found that studies which show evidence to the contrary used poor research methodology and have a high risk of bias.

The results run in contrast to findings from researchers at Harvard University's School of Public health and China Medical University in Shenyang in 2012.

They claimed to find "strong indications" that fluoride exposure, particularly among developing children, is highly problematic for proper cognitive development and brain formation.

The NHMRC report said that Australia mostly has very low levels of naturally occurring fluoride in its drinking water, and this is not enough to help prevent tooth decay.
 
Therefore, Australian water authorities use chemicals under strict controls to bring fluoride levels up to a range that can help to prevent or minimise tooth decay.
 
“The findings add to a long history of research that shows water fluoridation helps to reduce tooth decay in children and adults,” said the NHMRC report.
 
“Over sixty years of research supports the conclusion that fluoridating water helps to prevent tooth decay, by protecting against damage and helping with the repair of teeth.
 
“All of the studies in previous reviews and in the 2016 NHMRC Evidence Evaluation found that water fluoridation reduces tooth decay by 26-44% in children, teenagers and adults.”
 
The study also found there was no link between fluoride and cancer, Down’s syndrome, mortality, hip fractures, bone cancers osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.
 
However, the findings did show that that fluoride exposure sometimes caused "very mild or mild" small white lines on the tooth surface called “dental fluorosis”, which often disappeared over time.

Click here to read the full report.