A review of some two dozen studies by Harvard University researchers published this month in a peer-reviewed federal journal suggests that fluoride added into water supplies “significantly” decreases the IQ of children, leading to renewed calls by activists to end the controversial practice of fluoridation. Most public water supplies in the United States still have the chemical added in by authorities under the guise of preventing tooth decay.
"The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ than those who lived in low fluoride areas," noted the Harvard research scientists about the results of their study, echoing claims by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that there is substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity associated with the chemical. “The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.”
The researchers also expressed concerns about the potential of fluoride to cause irreversible brain damage in unborn children. "Fluoride readily crosses the placenta,” they observed. “Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature."
The study, which was published on July 20 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, also called for further studies on the issue. While fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in animals and adults, not enough was known about the chemical’s effects on the neurodevelopment of children, the researchers said.
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