As if we needed more reasons to filtrate our water: fluoride has been classified as a neurotoxin, shown to not prevent cavities, and now a 2015 study found a strong correlation between water fluoridation and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the United States, reported Newsweek.
The study published in the Environmental Health discovered that the rates of ADHD in children were much higher in states where fluoride is being added to tap water. The authors of the study Ashley J. Malin and Christine Till looked at ADHD data collected from 2003, 2007 and 2011; and water fluoridation statistics from 1992 and 2008. The link between ADHD and water fluoridation held up across different years.
“States in which a greater proportion of people received artificially-fluoridated water in 1992 tended to have a greater proportion of children and adolescents who received ADHD diagnoses [in later years],” said Malin.
In 2011, 6.4 million school-aged children (11% total) were reported to have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to the CDC. Newsweek reported that in 1992 the number reported was 7%. This increase correlated with the increase of water fluoridation from 56% to 67% during those years.
“[The numbers of extra cases] clearly shows that as artificial water fluoridation increases, so does the incidence of ADHD,” told William Hirzy, an American University researcher and former risk assessment scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency to Newsweek.
Former Studies Point to the Same Conclusion
- 1990s studies on rats showed that animals exposed to fluoride while still in the womb were more likely to have hyperactivity later in life.
- Many studies show that children with fluorosis, condition caused by overexposure to fluoride, have lower IQ scores and have cognitive problems.
- 49 studies suggested that higher fluoridation affected children’s IQs.
- A review and meta-analysis of multiple studies concluded that “children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas.”
Few people realize it, but 90% of water fluoridation does not use a pharmaceutical grade fluoride (sodium fluoride) but fluorosilicic acid, a byproduct of manufacturing phosphate fertilizer, reported Newsweek. This form of fluoride may be leaching lead from the pipes, said Professor Steve Patch from the University of North Carolina – Asheville. And lead is another neurotoxin linked to ADHD in children. A 2007 study found elevated levels of lead in children exposed to water fluoridation.
“Fluoride appears to fit in with a pattern of other trace elements such as lead, methylmercury, arsenic, cadmium and manganese—adverse effects of these have been documented over time at exposures previously thought to be ‘low’ and ‘safe,’” said Dr. Caroline Martinez, a pediatrician and researcher at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.
Fluoride Does Not Reduce Tooth Cavities
While the CDC calls water fluoridation a “great public health achievement” and the American Dentistry Association claims that fluoridation reduces cavity rates by 25%, statistics paint a different picture. Looking at the rates of cavities since around 1970s until 2005, it is obvious that they have been steadily declining at similar fashion in countries with and without water fluoridation (see chart below).
“…I’d certainly recommend that more studies [on fluoride] are done, in an urgent fashion,” said Bruce Lanphear, an epidemiologist at Simon Fraser University.
Source: © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2007, article “Adding fluoride to water supplies.”
Instead of fluoride: teeth remineralization shows potential for preventing and even treating tooth decay. A technique called Electrically Accelerated and Enhanced Remineralization (EAER) has been developed in Europe and should be available in the next couple of years. Meanwhile home remineralization kits such as one by Uncle Harry’s can be purchased today. And advice about dietary changes and their connection to healthy teeth can be read in “Cure Tooth Decay”, a book by Dental Health Advocate Ramiel Nagel.
You can also read our in-depth interview with Nagel by clicking on this link.