New Study Sheds Light on the Neurodevelopmental Effects of Maternal Fluoride Exposure

by | May 29, 2024 | Fluoride / Fluoridation | 0 comments

While we’re still waiting for the ruling in the EPA fluoridation trial, new research continues to be published on the neurodevelopmental effects of maternal fluoride exposure on children.

Many studies out of Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere have explored this question with respect to IQ scores in particular. You may recall last year’s scientific review from the National Toxicology Program, which found, “with moderate confidence,” that prenatal fluoride exposure is “consistently associated with lower IQ in children.”

That same report also found “some evidence that fluoride exposure is associated with other neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects in children.” More evidence was just published in JAMA Network Open.

The study involved more than 220 women/children pairs and focused on fluoride exposure and neurobehavior at age 3. Fluoride exposure was calculated from mothers’ third trimester urine samples. Behavior was assessed through parental reports of their children’s social and emotional functioning.

The research team found that children who were exposed to an extra 0.68 mg/L of fluoride while in the womb had almost double the risk of exhibiting clinically significant behavioral issues.

Specifically, children exposed to more fluoride had more problems with emotional reactivity, somatic complaints (such as headaches and stomachaches), anxiety and symptoms linked to autism.

No association was found with several other neurobehavioral symptoms, including “externalizing behaviors” such as aggression and attention problems.

According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Ashley Malin, “This is the first U.S.-based study to examine this association.

Our findings are noteworthy, given that the women in this study were exposed to pretty low levels of fluoride—levels that are typical of those living in fluoridated regions within North America.

Moreover, Malin added, “There are no known benefits to the fetus from ingesting fluoride,…yet now we have several studies conducted in North America suggesting that there may be a pretty significant risk to the developing brain during that time.”

This is all the more reason to hope for a favorable ruling in the EPA trial – one that would spell the end of fluoridation for good. Until then, it’s up to each of us to do what we can to avoid fluoride. You’ll find some tips here on our blog, as well as in this article from our friends over at Truth About Fluoride.

For more on the health risks of fluoride exposure, with scientific references, see the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology’s white paper on the subject.

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