Is water making kids dumb?
Communities spend plenty of money and resources trying to make sure harmful chemicals and other contaminants are removed from our precious drinking supply.
But there’s one that always seems to stay behind. One that could lower children’s intelligence. One that could cause brain damage.
Why can’t they seem to get rid of it?
Oh, because they don’t want to. Because I’m talking about fluoride.
You know, that miracle of modern dentistry that’s supposedly building bright, strong smiles. Never mind the fact that it’s an industrial waste that never should have been anywhere near our water supplies in the first place — and that the evidence for it actually supporting dental health is weak at best.
And now the latest news has people asking: Is this the end for fluoride?
Generally, I don’t like getting too optimistic about those kinds of questions, but this news is pretty darn hard to ignore.
The publication Environmental Health Perspectives pre-published a study that’s actually the 24th (can you believe it?) to show an association between fluoride and lowered intelligence. This is the strongest of the studies, because the researchers were careful to control for other variables and were able to draw a link not just between lowered IQ and water levels of fluoride, but also between lowered IQ and fluoride levels in blood.
One of the scariest tidbits from this study? The levels of fluoride in the community in which lowered IQs were recorded didn’t have “dangerous” levels of the chemical in the water. In fact, they were below the EPA’s “safe” level of 4 parts per million (ppm). That’s not the REALLY scary part, though.
That would be this: The levels were actually quite close to those used in artificial fluoridation programs (0.7 to 1.2 ppm). That’s right — the levels of fluoride that might be causing brain damage are pretty darn close to levels that communities put into water ON PURPOSE.
In the study, about 28 percent of children in the low-fluoride community scored as being bright, compared with only 8 percent in the high-fluoride one. In the high-fluoride community, 15 percent of children had scores indicating mental retardation, while a much lower 6 percent in the low-fluoride area had similar scores.
Not only have there been 24 studies linking lowered IQ to fluoride, there have been over one hundred animal studies connecting fluoride with brain damage. One of the earliest was in 1995. When that study came out, the lead author was fired by the Forsyth Dental Center.
Pretty clear message, right? Don’t look into fluoride — or else.
If you’re interested in learning how to help get fluoride out of your community, there is actually a whole action network that provides information as well as resources to make your voice heard. You can learn more at www.fluoridealert.org.
Fluoride isn’t the only reason you might want to think twice about pouring a glass of water. Click here for more information.
“Fluoride in Water Linked to Lower IQ in Children,” PR Newswire (www.prnewswire.com)