Another study shows neurological damage of fluoride

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The results of another mother-infant-fluoride study – this time from Canada – again show the neurological damage caused by fluoridation chemicals.
"In this study, maternal exposure to higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged 3 to 4 years. These findings indicate the possible need to reduce fluoride intake during pregnancy."
Rivka Green, MA
Lead researcher, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Canada

Also watch a video of the study’s lead author, Christine Till, being interviewed:

The results of another MIREC (Maternal-Infant Research on Environmental Studies) study have just been released, confirming the neurological damage caused by fluoridation chemicals. This particular study, carried out in fluoridated Canada by a team of Canadian and American researchers, links increased fluoride exposure during pregnancy to lowered IQ in their offspring.

Rivka Green from the York University in Canada and her team of researchers examined the association between fluoride exposure during foetal development and childhood IQ in a Canadian sample of mother-child pairs enrolled in the MIREC program.

The latest Canadian study by Green et al is the culmination of 20 years research on fluoride and IQ.

The children were born between 2008 and 2012 with 41 per cent living in communities supplied with fluoridated municipal water. The study sample included 601 mother-child pairs recruited from 6 major cities in Canada.

Fluoride-urine levels for 512 pregnant women were used in the study, as well as self-reported maternal daily fluoride intake from water and beverage consumption available for 400 pregnant women.

The fluoridated cohort received “optimal” levels of community fluoridated water – a concentration of 1mg/L. This is a similar concentration used in Australia’s fluoridation program, with around 90 per cent of our population receiving fluoridated water.

The children’s cognitive abilities (IQ) were assessed at 3 to 4 years of age using multiple linear regression analyses.

Among the male children, higher mother-urine-fluoride levels were associated with a significantly larger reduction in cognitive performance. An increase of 1mg/L during prenatal development was associated with a decrease of 4.49 IQ points in the young boys. When the researchers measured fluoride exposure by examining the women’s fluid intake, they found lower IQs in both boys and girls: A 1 mg increase per day was associated with a 3.7-point IQ deficit among both genders.

This study follows on from the Bashash et al study (2017), which showed a loss of 5 – 6 IQ points for a fluoride level in urine of 1mg/L. But this study goes beyond Bashash because Green et al included measures of total dose of fluoride in addition to a measurement of the mothers’ urine levels.

"Just as the Bashash study (2017) addressed virtually all the criticisms of the many papers from China, the Green et al study (2019) addresses all of the minor criticisms of the Bashash study. The high-level treatment of this study via podcast, editorial and commentary, by the editors of JAMA Pediatrics, also indicates the significance and importance of this study."
Professor Paul Connett
BA (Hons) Natural Sciences, PhD in Chemistry, co-author of "The Case Against Fluoride."

“This study is not a stand-alone paper, rather, it is the culmination of more than 20 years of research on fluoride and IQ. Just as the Bashash study (2017) addressed virtually all the criticisms of the many papers from China, the Green et al study (2019)  addresses all of the minor criticisms of the Bashash study. The high level treatment of this study via podcast, editorial and commentary, by the editors of JAMA Pediatrics also indicates the significance  and importance of this study,” said Professor Paul Connett, an International Advisory Board Member of Fluoride Free Australia.

“Pro-fluoridation commentators said they wanted the Bashash study reproduced – this study does that. They said they wanted to see a study in a North American population  – this study does that,” said Professor Connett.

"The estimate of maternal fluoride intake during pregnancy in this study showed that an increase of 1 mg of fluoride was associated with a decrease of 3.7 IQ points across boys and girls. The finding observed for fluoride intake in both boys and girls may reflect postnatal exposure to fluoride, whereas MUF primarily captures prenatal exposure."
Green et al (2019)

Making the publication of this study even more impactful is that it is accompanied by an editor’s note, a podcast featuring the journal’s editors, and an editorial from world-renowned neurotoxicity expert Dr. David Bellinger. This reaction by the JAMA editors shows how important the study is, as most studies in their journal don’t receive this treatment.

For the first time in his career, the editor of Pediatrics included an editorial note, knowing fluoridation proponents would attack the study without justification. He noted the study’s rigor, triple-checking of the data, and definitive nature of the evidence:

“This decision to publish this article was not easy. Given the nature of the findings and their potential implications, we subjected it to additional scrutiny for its methods and the presentation of its findings. The mission of the journal is to ensure that child health is optimized by bringing the best available evidence to the fore. Publishing it serves as testament to the fact that JAMA Pediatrics is committed to disseminating the best science based entirely on the rigor of the methods and the soundness of the hypotheses tested, regardless of how contentious the results may be. That said, scientific inquiry is an iterative process. It is rare that a single study provides definitive evidence. This study is neither the first, nor will it be the last, to test the association between prenatal fluoride exposure and cognitive development. We hope that purveyors and consumers of these findings are mindful of that as the implications of this study are debated in the public arena.”

JAMA Editors

A twelve-minute podcast featuring AMA Pediatrics Editor in Chief, Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, and Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief of JAMA Network Open, was also released alongside the study.  The editors express how “very concerning” and “startling” the evidence is against fluoridation, and how the neurological damage is “on par with lead.”  They praise the high quality of this study, and call for additional NIH funding of more fluoride research.  Before publication, the study was subjected to two statistical reviews, with the researchers combing through the data to make sure that the results were not skewed by the mothers’ education, income levels, or other factors. 

Most importantly, they recommend that pregnant women avoid drinking fluoridated water, something FAN has been saying since the publication of the Bashash et al, study two years ago. 

“The effects of this study are comparable to the effects of lead, and if these findings are true there should be as much concern about prenatal fluoride exposure,” Christakis told The Daily Beast. “The question that needs to be asked to every pediatrician, scientist, and epidemiologist is what they’re going to tell pregnant women,” said Christakis, who says he will advise his pregnant friends and family to avoid fluoridated water. “We can’t tell them to wait years for another study.”

In the editorial piece by Harvard Professor Dr. David Bellinger that accompanies the study he provides an overview of recent fluoride/IQ research, and highlights the strengths of the study and need for additional research.  Though he also gives the following warning:

“The hypothesis that fluoride is a neurodevelopmental toxicant must now be given serious consideration…It is instructive to recall that the hypothesis that subclinical lead exposures pose a neurodevelopmental hazard was bitterly contested in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was only the weight of evidence that eventually accumulated that led to the now widely held consensus that no level of lead exposure is safe…If the hypothesis is true, the implications are worrisome. Exposure to fluoride has increased substantially in recent decades…If the effect sizes reported by Green et al and others are valid, the total cognitive loss at the population level that might be associated with children’s prenatal exposure to fluoride could be substantial.”

Details of this study:

Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada

Rivka Green, MA1Bruce Lanphear, MD2,3Richard Hornung, PhD4David Flora, PhD1E. Angeles Martinez-Mier,DDS5;  Raichel Neufeld, BA1Pierre Ayotte, PhD6,7Gina Muckle, PhD7,8;Christine Till, PhD1

JAMA Pediatrics, 19 August 2019.

1Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
3Child and Family Research Institute, British Columbia Children’s Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
4Pediatrics and Environmental Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
5School of Dentistry, Indiana University, Indianapolis
6Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Québec City, Québec, Canada.
7Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Université Laval, Québec City, Québec, Canada
8School of Psychology, Laval University, Québec City, Québec, Canada