Children's intelligence declines as their natural drinking water fluoride levels increase, concluded a Chinese study in the May 2003 journal, Fluoride, reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).
Children scored inferior IQ's even when fluoride levels were similar to that added to U.S. water supplies to prevent tooth decay.1
"As the fluoride levels in drinking water increased, the IQ fell and the rates of mental retardation and borderline intelligence increased," write researchers Xiang, et al.
Tested were 512 children, aged 8-13 years from Wamiao, a high-fluoride village, and Xinhuai, a low-fluoride village. The high-fluoride village was divided into five subgroups by water fluoride levels, from 0.62 mg Fluoride per Liter to 4.38 mg F/L. As water fluoride levels increased within the high fluoride village, IQ decreased.
"When the data from the 512 children in the two villages were considered as a whole, a significant inverse correlation was found between IQ and the level of fluoride in urine," the researchers report. "These results are consistent with the findings recorded by Li at al.(3), Zhao et al.(4), and Lu et al.(5) of an inverse correlation between intelligence and dietary fluoride from either contaminated food or drinking water," they report.
Neither village experiences coal burning pollution nor do residents drink brick tea, two common fluoride sources in China. Children with brain disease or head injury history were excluded. Only water fluoride levels differed between the two rural, low-income villages situated in the same province (Jiangsu) and county. Neither blood lead levels(2) nor urinary iodine differed between the test groups. The authors also controlled for family income and parental education
Fluoride crosses the blood-brain barrier producing biochemical and functional impairment of the nervous system during the developmental periods of infancy and childhood, the authors report.
"...despite growing evidence of serious neurotoxicity for both fluoride and lead, U.S. safety standards for fluoride in water have been moving in the opposite direction to those for lead in blood. From a scientific standpoint, this is very difficult to understand or to justify," says organic chemist Albert Burgstahler, Ph.D., Editor, Fluoride(5a).
Chemistry Professor Paul Connett, Ph.D., presented (5b) and explained these and other fluoride adverse-effect studies, published since 1993, to the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council (NRC) panel studying "Toxicologic Risk of Fluoride in Drinking Water"(6) on 8/12/03. (See power point presentation at http://www.fluoridealert.org/NRC-final.ppt  and http://www.fluoridealert.org/nrc-paper.pdf  )
The NRC will recommend safe levels of fluoride in drinking water.
"Two neurological studies are particularly important," says Connett. "In 1995 Mullenix and colleagues(7) discovered fluoride gets into the brain, contrary to former beliefs. Then Varner and his team, in 1998,(8) found that even 1 part per million fluoride, the amount purposely added to U.S. water supplies, facilitated uptake of aluminum into rats' brains causing amyloid deposits similar to Alzheimer's patients," says Connett.
The American Dental Association (ADA), a union that represents dentists' interests, told the NRC panel "... the ADA urges the subcommittee to support retaining the current (1993) regulations...Since that time, there has been no published scientific evidence that should change those conclusions," according to the ADA news.(9)
"Contrary to the ADA's assurances of fluoridation's safety, the ADA is disregarding new adverse-fluoride studies," says Attorney Paul Beeber, President, NYSCOF. "The ADA can't be relied on by the media, legislators, health officials and the public about fluoride and fluoridation's safety or bodily effects," says Beeber.
Fluoride's maximum contaminant level, 4 mg/L, is set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for public water supplies, to prevent bone disease, including pain and tenderness of the bones. Neither a nutrient nor essential to health, fluoride gets into tap water through natural rock erosion, from fertilizer runoff, or when purposely added to reduce tooth decay.