Fluoride is an element that is found all throughout nature. For many years, fluoride has added to public water supplies in developed nations because the element has been proven to improve dental health by reducing the incidence of tooth decay.
Fluoride is known to slow down the rate at which tooth enamel, an opaque protectant that is naturally found on human teeth, decays. It also boosts the rate at which is remineralizes in the presence of cavities. Best of all, according to modern statistics, adding fluoride to the public water supply costs roughly one dollar per United States citizen per year. Fluoride also doesn’t change the way that water smells, looks, or tastes, countless studies have shown.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, one of the world’s leading authorities on public health, claims that the widespread fluoridation of public water supplies throughout the country is one of the greatest accomplishments for public health in the 20th century.
For several decades, however, people from around the world have thought that fluoride consumption is linked to a variety of health problems, though little evidence has supported such claims.
A study published earlier today, on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019, in the highly-regarded medical journal Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics, or JAMA Pediatrics for short, suggests that the more fluoride pregnant women come in contact with, the lower their children’s intelligence quotient (IQ) scores are.
Titled “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada,” this is the first peer-reviewed study to review public drinking water supplies that have roughly 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, which is what level the United States Public Health Service considers to be an optimal level. These levels are consistent throughout public water supplies found in Canada and the United States.
The study looked at how much fluoride 512 mothers were exposed to by taking urine samples throughout their pregnancies. Researchers also estimated how much fluoride these mothers were taking in on a daily basis by having the mothers complete surveys on their intake of beverages. Once their children reached the age of three, they were administered intelligence quotient tests.
For every extra milligram of fluoride per liter that was detected in each mother’s urine, males’ IQ dropped 4.5 points. Female children were not affected significantly, though the study didn’t make any suggestions that explained this phenomenon.