Since we last blogged about the fluoridation lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – way back in the summer of 2020 – the only real news about it has been delay after delay after delay.
For much of that, you can thank government efforts to block the release of the National Toxicology Program’s report on fluoride’s neurotoxicity. But last week, that report was finally released under a court order related to another lawsuit. It also included comments from external peer-reviewers and internal HHS departments, along with NTP’s responses.
The report is a 6-year systematic review of the science on fluoride’s effects on the brain, which underwent two rounds of external peer review. All reviewers agreed with the report’s conclusion that early fluoride exposures – including prenatal ones – can reduce IQ.
While “the body of evidence from studies in adults is…limited and provides low confidence that fluoride exposure is associated with adverse effects on adult cognition,” the NTP authors wrote,
there is…a large body of evidence on IQ effects in children. There is also some evidence that fluoride exposure is associated with other neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects in children; although, because of the heterogeneity of the outcomes, there is low confidence in the literature for these other effects. This review finds, with moderate confidence, that higher fluoride exposure (e.g., represented by populations whose total fluoride exposure approximates or exceeds the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride) is consistently associated with lower IQ in children. [emphasis added]
Here are just a few highlights from the meta-analysis included with the report:
- Eight of 9 high-quality studies on neurodevelopmental or cognitive effects other than lowered IQ reported showed associations with fluoride exposure.
- Eighteen of 19 high-quality studies on IQ showed a link between lower IQ and fluoride exposure.
- Forty-six of 53 low-quality studies also showed this IQ/fluoride link.
Notable, too, is that the NTP’s assessment considered all potential sources of fluoride, not just drinking water. Processed foods, dental products, pesticides, and more can increase exposure.
The meta-analysis could not detect any safe exposure, including at levels common from drinking artificially fluoridated water (0.7 mg/L).
As a representative for one of the defendants in the EPA fluoridation case put it,
There is now little question that a large body of scientific evidence supports a conclusion that fluoride can lower [a] child’s IQ, including at exposure levels from fluoridated water.
The next hearing in the EPA trial is currently scheduled for April 11, 2023.
Meantime, we continue to provide fluoride-free dentistry as we have done for decades now, including biological dentistry for children, which we began offering earlier this year when Dr. Ackeilia Heatrice joined our team. It’s pediatric dentistry without fluoride treatments or supplements. Without composites that release fluoride. Without fluoridated water.
For our motto is “Keep it safe, keep it simple.” Our commitment to fluoride-free dentistry for all ages is just one manifestation of that.