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Harvard Study: Fluoride may lower IQ in kids

July 31, 2012 (TSR) – A new study released by Harvard professors has found a correlation between high levels of fluoride consumed and lower IQ in children. Many of the studies used by the article regarding children were carried out in rural China, where fluoride occurs as a natural contaminant in groundwater.

Children who lived in areas with high fluoride content were found to have lower IQ scoMany of the studies used by the article regarding children weres than those who lived in areas with lower fluoride content. The fluoride levels of the test groups were up to 11.5mg/L. Currently in the US, the maximum level of fluoride allowed in public drinking water is 4mg/L.

That said, a study from 2011 showed a relationship between lower levels of fluoride, from .24mg/L to 2.84mg/L, and negative effects on the intellectual ability of children.

Photo credit: Jiri Hodan

These results point to the fact that fluoride may be more harmful for children whose brains are still in the developmental stages, whereas adults with matured brains are less affected by the neurotoxicant. This gives rise to worry since fluoride has been found to readily cross into the placenta, possibly causing permanent harm to a developing brain, based on a US EPA study from 2011.

In 2006, the US National Research Council (NRC) admitted assessments of fluoride safety were based on incomplete information on potential risks, while the World Health Organization (WHO) has mainly focused on the benefits of fluoride.

After these findings and others which cite health concerns related to fluoride, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed to lower the level of fluoride in public drinking water to .7mg/L from the currently accepted range of .7mg/L to 1.2mg/L.

The article asks for future research to revisit this study, specifically focusing on prenatal exposure and how exposure over time affects neurobehavioral performance.

The study was written by Dr. Ana L. Choi and Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Heath, Dr. Guifan Sun of China Medical University, and Dr. Ying Zhang of the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa.

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