Tap water

According to the Fluoride Action Network there are at present 24 independent studies which have a direct link between fluoride contamination from city tap water and reduced IQ, especially in children who are more vulnerable due to developing brains. The most recent one comes from Harvard University, which also came to the same conclusion, namely that of “the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.”

“The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas,” reads the study.

Fluoride (fluosilicic acid) is used in the manufacturing of a slew of industrial chemicals, but you can be sure to find it any house, in your tap water that is, albeit in minute quantity. Just about 1 part per million (ppm) in US water supplies, used to prevent tooth decay.

A number of organizations however have filed a number of addresses and petitions requesting that fluoride be excluded from the water supply; some communities, in the US at least, have succeeded in their efforts.

It’s been found that fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in animal models and acute fluoride poisoning causes neurotoxicity in adults, very little is known of its effects on children’s neurodevelopment, however, considering the delicate subject and its implications, that is. Fluoride readily crosses the placenta, where it comes into contact with the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain. Damage caused is likely permanent in nature.

“It’s senseless to keep subjecting our children to this ongoing fluoridation experiment to satisfy the political agenda of special-interest groups,” says attorney Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President.  “Even if fluoridation reduced cavities, is tooth health more important than brain health? It’s time to put politics aside and stop artificial fluoridation everywhere,” says Beeber.

In June 2011 the following abstract was published on a new IQ study from Iran.

High fluoride exposure in drinking water: Effect on children’s IQ, one new report.
By Poureslami HR, et al. 2011. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 21(Suppl s1):47. (See Page 47, Abstract #O15-134)

Aim: We investigated the effect of chronic high fluoride (F) exposure on children‘s intelligence.
Design: In this cross sectional study two urban communities with similar socio-economic and cultural status but with different levels of F in drinking water, in the Kerman province, were studied: Koohbanan city (F 2.38 mg/L), Baft city (F 0.41 mg/L). Study samples consisted of 119 children 6–9 years old: 59 children from Koohbanan and 60 children from Baft. The Raven‘s test used to determine the effect of F exposures on children‘s IQ.
Results: In the low F area (control group) the mean IQ score of children was 97.80 ± 15.95 that decreased to 91.37 ± 15.63 for the high F group (Koohbanan‘s children), which was significantly different from the control group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Based on the findings, the chronic exposure to high levels of F can be one of the factors that influence intellectual development.

Fluoride in water has also been found to cause harmful effects to thyroid, kidney patients and heavy water-drinkers, as it accumulates into the body. Infant formula when mixed with fluoridated water delivers 100-200 times more fluoride than breastmilk.

The study’s findings were reported in the journal  Environmental Health Perspectives.

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2012 ZME Science

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Like us on Facebook


  1. 1

    “Fluoride (fluosilicic acid) is used in the manufacturing of a slew of industrial chemicals”. Yes, we all know that any compounds used to make ‘industrial chemicals’ *must* be dangerous. OH PLEASE. This statement proves nothing at all and just serves to scare and skew the opinions of the readers.”97.80 ± 15.95 that decreased to 91.37 ± 15.63″Given the large error present, how can you say this is in any way conclusive? The given error of close to 16 easily accounts for the 6.17 difference. I’m interested to see how you managed to pull a p level of <0.05 with this data set.A larger sample size couldn't hurt; is 60 people enough to rule out any socio-economic effects?What would be useful is determining exactly at what concentration flouride actually starts to have adverse effects, and making sure that the cap is low enough. At the moment it's capped at 4mg/L in America, and this could indeed be too high.To obtain data for this I'd say a lot more than two cities with different fluoride levels would need to be compared, preferably with much larger sample groups (though I know this is always a difficult thing to achieve). I just don't think that only two sets of data, with such a small sample size, is enough to say anything conclusively.

  2. 2

    I agree that the study doesn’t explain very much. 120 people representing two cities seems a bit small, and the control was still subjected to fluoride. Is there any evidence to suggest that people living with fluoride free waters are actually more intelligent?

  3. 3

    Madeleine, I’ve done hours of research on this. Here’s what you need to know: The sodium additive is called SODIUM fluoride. The naturally occurring fluoride is called CALCIUM fluoride. Sodium fluoride is in fact a neurotoxin – this has been known since the 1800’s. There are many studies to back this up. Also the fluoride additive is illegal to dump in the ocean, and one tube of fluoridated toothpaste has a lethal dose if wholly consumed – that should be a big clue..

    Now, calcium fluoride has a minutely small benefit to teeth, but ONLY when children’s adult teeth are forming from ages about 8-12, and even then the difference was less than a 1% differential in dental health. This was shown in a study conducted between two communities where one had naturally occurring calcium fluoride in their well and the other had none.

    The other HUGE thing you need to know is that fluoride is ACCUMULATIVE. The body has a very hard time getting rid of it (if at all).. Even fluoride additive proponents admit that too much is toxic. It is extremely difficult to remove fluoride from your water. You not only consume it in your drinking water, but also every time you cook with it, i.e. boiling pasta, etc… Also when you take a shower, you absorb a huge amount through your skin, because the vaporized water contains a concentrated amount of fluoride – you’d have to drink more than a gallon of water to get the same amount.. and god help any infants that are given baths in fluoridated water, as their brains are forming.. So, at the end of the day, you likely will have far exceeded the “safe” amount recommended by fluoride proponents. 

    In closing, I’d like to say that the article you replied to is the tip of an iceberg of information. For your own health and the health of your loved ones I humbly recommend doing some research. Here’s a good starting point:

  4. 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>