Recently, a study published online claimed an association between higher prenatal fluoride exposure and subsequent lower IQ scores in children, and the American Dental Association (ADA) has responded.
In the study, researchers looked at 299 pairs of moms and children in Mexico, analyzing their general cognitive indexes and IQ analyses. According to a recent ADA news article, researchers concluded that “higher prenatal fluoride exposure, in the general range of exposures reported for other general population samples of pregnant women and nonpregnant adults, was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at age 4 and 6-12 years.”
The news release from the ADA in response to the study is quick to point out that the findings are not applicable to the U.S., and confirms that the Association “continues to endorse fluoridation of public water as the most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.”
The ADA also noted that the intake of fluoride in Mexico “is significantly different from the U.S.,” where they also add fluoride to salt. Not only is fluoride not added to salt in the United States, it is also only added to water “in cases where the natural occurrence of fluoride is lower than the recommended level to prevent tooth decay.”
In addition to the difference in fluoridation, the Association also pointed out that it is unknown how the subjects of the study ingested fluoride (through salt, water or both), so “no conclusions can be drawn regarding the effects of community water fluoridation in the U.S.”
“The ADA endorses community water fluoridation as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay based on 70 years of scientific research. To see scientific evidence and other information about fluoridation, visit ADA.org/fluoride.”
The study, “Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6-12 Years of Age in Mexico,” was recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives.