High fluoride levels may affect cognitive development

Some recent research suggests that children growing up in areas where there are high concentrations of fluoride in their drinking water have lower IQ scores. Several studies, many of them conducted in China, have found a link between a decrease in IQ and fluoride concentrations. Health Canada recently recommended a reduction in the maximum amount of fluoride added to drinking water, but this was meant to reduce the risk of fluorosis, a mottling of children’s teeth. The Canadian agency has concluded that the “weight of evidence” does not support a fluoride – IQ link. Unsurprisingly, dentists agree, although I’m not sure how dentists would measure IQ!

A systematic review of studies examining connections between cognitive scores and fluoride levels was conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto. Their review indicated that, although the evidence is not conclusive, there are at least 20 studies reporting a significant drop in IQ scores for children in high-fluoride areas.

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