Harvard Study: Lower IQ in Children Exposed to Fluoride

by Sarah Activism, Healthy LivingComments: 73

Fluoride tablets

Are you still drinking fluoridated water, using fluoride toothpaste or permitting the dentist to administer fluoride treatments on your children?  Even worse, are you using fluoride tablets thinking this will somehow help prevent cavities in your child?

Parents: It’s time to wake up!  The strong evidence that fluoride negatively impacts children’s neurological development and actually lowers their IQ just keeps growing and growing.

The latest nail in the coffin for fluoride comes from the prestigious journal Environmental Health Perspectives which has recently published a thorough and systematic review by Harvard researchers of eligible studies through the end of 2011 in order to examine the possible adverse effects of exposure to fluoride and the potential of delayed neurobehavioral development in children.

The findings of the Harvard researchers whose study was funded by the National Institutes of Health is nothing short of disturbing:

“… children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low fluoride areas.”

As a result of their analysis, the researchers concluded the following about fluoride exposure:

“The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment. Future research should include detailed individual-level information on prenatal exposure, neurobehavioral performance, and covariates for adjustment.”

This research dovetails with what the EPA already knows having classified fluoride as a chemical for which there is substantial evidence of toxicity to neurodevelopment.

Fortunately, communities around the United States are finally starting to take action by voting to have fluoride removed from the drinking water, something that most European countries along with China and Japan have already done.

While important, having your children drink nonfluoridated water is only the first step in protecting them from the devastating neurological impact of fluoride exposure.

These ten tips are provided by the Fluoride Action Network as the best ways to protect from the neurological ravages of excessive fluoride exposure:

  1. Stop drinking fluoridated water.
  2. Don’t let your child swallow fluoride toothpaste (I would add that it is better to not even use fluoridated toothpaste at all!)
  3. Do not allow fluoride gel treatments at the dentist.  Find a holistic dentist who will let you opt out!
  4. Eat more fresh food and less processed food as the more processed a food is, the more fluoride it will actually have.
  5. Buy organic grape juice and wine.
  6. Use organic tea or reduce tea consumption.  Another option is to use white tea made from younger tea leaves.  Bottled tea is the worst!
  7. Avoid cooking in teflon pans.
  8. Don’t take Cipro if you can possibly avoid it and be aware of the fluoride content of many pharmaceuticals.
  9. Avoid mechanically deboned chicken as fluoride concentrates most heavily in the bone and bone fragments end up in machine processed meat.
  10. Avoid fluoridated salt.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

Picture Credit

Comments (73)

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  • nyscof

    More Studies Link Fluoride to Brain Damage

    Legislators Are Mislead About Gravity and Extent of Fluoride Brain Risk

    New York — September 13 — Newly discovered and translated published studies reveal fluoride is linked to lower IQ, even at levels added to US water supplies, reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Further, fluoridation promoters misrepresented newly published Harvard fluoride/IQ research.

    Thirty-seven studies now link fluoride to reduced IQ in humans. Dozens of other studies correlate fluoride to impaired learning and memory, altered neurobehavioral function, fetal brain damage, and altered thyroid hormone levels. Full studies available at FAN’s website http://www.fluoridealert.org/articles/iq-facts/

    Harvard researchers recently concluded, after reviewing 27 fluoride/IQ studies, that fluoride’s effect on children’s developing brains should be a “high research priority” especially in the US which has never investigated brain/fluoride effects.
    Fluoridation advocates, however, misinterpreted this research and mislead legislators in Phoenix, Portland, Wichita and elsewhere by stating the Harvard research isn’t relevant to Americans. Advocates claimed the Harvard study found only a ½ point difference in IQ, and that the fluoride levels were much higher than Americans experience.

    That’s wrong. The Harvard team found that fluoride exposure was associated with a statistically significant reduction of 7 IQ points, not the ½ point claimed by advocate, Dr. Myron Allukian. The Pew Children’s Dental Campaign and other fluoridation advocates, including Allukian and Portland Mayor Sam Adams, have stated the Harvard study focused on fluoride levels of 11.5 mg/l. Only one of the studies, however, was at 11.5 mg/l.

    The majority of water studies examined by the Harvard team investigated fluoride levels which the US EPA says is safe — less than 4 mg/l.

    · One study, sponsored by UNICEF, found reduced IQ at just 0.88 mg/l — a level within the “optimal” fluoride range added to the drinking water of over 200 million Americans.

    Seven found reduced IQs among children drinking water with fluoride levels between 2.1 and 4 mg/l – levels that 1.4 million Americans drink everyday.

    Four found effects at levels between 1.8 and 2.0 mg/l – levels that over 200,000 Americans drink everyday.

    EPA’s conventional approach to risk assessment limits chemical exposure to levels ten times less than those known to cause adverse effects. With fluoride and IQ, the levels of fluoride in water and urine are – at most – just two or three times more than the amount experienced by tens of millions of American children

    Children with iodine deficiencies are particularly harmed by fluoride. And iodine deficiency has increased significantly, now affecting up to 12% of the US population.

    May 22nd, 2013 1:27 pm Reply
  • Marie Farrar

    I am disturbed (as I’m sure would be the authors of the study you quote) at your sweeping pronouncements about fluoride. It is well documented that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and prevents untold dental decay and pain and suffering. As many other above have pointed out, the Harvard study is a meta-analysis about overexposure to naturally occurring fluoride, many in rural Chinese populations. One of the populations had a whopping 1361.7 mg/kg (1L=1kg) because they burn fluoride-polluted coal. Here is a link to a chart of the studies included: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/table/t1/. Note that most of the control groups had fluoride levels in the range of the recommended fluoridation level of 0.7 mg/L. Please note that this miniscule therapeutic dose of fluoride is almost 6 times less than the EPA’s maximum allowed in US water supplies (4 mg/L). What the authors are highlighting is the need for additional research about what that maximum levels should be.
    The whole fluoridation controversy is so overblown, and I’m constantly amazed that otherwise rational folks can get misled into believing bizarre conspiracy theories.
    For a more balanced approach, I suggest your readers look at the EcoDentistry’s blog;http://ecodentistryblog.com/2012/01/19/eda-co-founder-dr-fred-pockrass-talks-fluoride/

    May 22nd, 2013 12:26 pm Reply
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  • Irena

    It’s not just IQ that’s at risk:

    September 2nd, 2012 2:02 pm Reply
  • Irena

    Ive been looking at the Pelican whole house water filter, but it doesn’t filter fluoride. I need to buy a separate filter for that, which would total like $1600 (which is why we haven’t bought it yet). :(. Do any of you own this or an Aquasana?

    September 1st, 2012 12:43 pm Reply
  • Frankie

    I have been using Aquasana filtration systems for both my drinking water and my showers. It is reasonably priced and allows me to retain the essential minerals (water is supposed to have) while eliminating chlorine, Cysts, VOCs, Lindane, Alachlor, Atrazine, Benzene, TCE, Lead and last I heard was working on documenting the removal of fluoride. I got a discount by going to http://naturesbeginnings.com

    Anytime natural minerals or anything is altered from its natural state, the body does not know what to do with it, and problems will arise. Chemical-based believers don’t want to face it, and it’s too bad – for them.

    September 1st, 2012 12:04 pm Reply
  • becca

    If fluoride concentrates in the bones, what does this mean for bone broth??

    August 31st, 2012 6:18 pm Reply
    • beth

      This is what I am wondering too.

      October 18th, 2012 5:11 pm Reply
  • LILO

    Any info on fluoride exposure during pregnancy, especially from black tea consumption? Had no idea tea was high in fluoride.

    August 31st, 2012 12:38 pm Reply
  • Irena

    Sarah, do you have any knowledge or information about using Borax (boron) for fluoride neutralization/detoxification? There are a few sources online (none very reputable) that make the claim that borax bonds to fluoride and has it pass through your body and can leach fluoride out of your bones. They also claim it helps mobilize calcium, but that’s a separate issue. :)
    Any information you have would be worthwhile.
    Thanks, Irena

    August 31st, 2012 11:07 am Reply
  • Gab

    First of all, like all the other lazy asses who took one look at a headline and then copy-pasted all the sources, your title is misleading. The Harvard study did not confirm that fluoride lowers IQ. You actually quoted what they really said in your article: “results support the possibility an adverse effect of high fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment”. Support. Not Confirmed.

    Then there’s this whole other thing you didn’t notice while you were busy thinking of all the ways to protect your and all your readers from the “neurological ravages” of fluoride. That study that you cited? The authors were actually talking about the fluoride in the waters of China and India (You will see this in fine print in the study itself). Countries where mega-doses of fluoride seep into the water from the soil. So unless you think your toothpaste can compete with that… then I think you’re all pretty safe.

    So in conclusion, what “possibility” actually means here is that the authors couldn’t find any really conclusive answers (despite going all the way to china and india) yet their study still gets eaten up by the likes of you because you saw the word “Harvard” attached to their study.

    Maybe next time you jump on the bandwagon you should dig a bit deeper. Oh and not rub any salt in your wounds but here’s an example of what a well researched fluoride article is: http://www.cracked.com/quick-fixes/fluoride-lowers-your-iq-b.s.-headline-week/. Oh and look it’s from last month. If it’s any consolation… your other stuff is ok. I like the fizzy chocolate thing. Good job with that one.

    August 31st, 2012 3:30 am Reply
    • Sara r

      I think that article lowered my IQ more than any fluoride exposure…geez. (gab’s article).

      August 31st, 2012 8:08 am Reply
  • Ryan

    As Oliver alluded to above, you’re exposed to all the nasty chemicals in your water when showering. Therefore, a good shower filter is paramount, not only for your skin. You absorb a fair amount of water through your skin when showering.

    August 30th, 2012 2:48 pm Reply
    • Beth

      And you absorb fluoride and chloride through your lungs while taking a shower.

      August 30th, 2012 7:12 pm Reply
  • Bethany

    I just got a new berkey filter (I switched over from dr. mercola’s filter) and am LOVING it! I can taste all the mineral goodness. I got the extra filters that remove the flouride and arsenic.

    August 30th, 2012 2:25 pm Reply
    • Oliver

      Just curious – Does this filter retain the other elements, the other minerals ( iron, calcium, sodium etc) that is in natural water. Does the filter know to distiguish and separate? Was it designed specifically to target and remove only flouride (and arsenic). Do they tell you what is actually left behind?

      August 30th, 2012 2:34 pm Reply
      • Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama

        As far as I know, the Berkey removes chlorine, organophosphates, fluoride, and other toxins — more than any other system. But yes, it does leave in iron, calcium, sodium and other trace minerals. I am not sure how it works nor sure they would tell you, trade secret and all. We’ve been using a Berkey for a year and a half.

        August 31st, 2012 11:18 am Reply
  • Nevra @ ChurnYourOwn

    Sarah or other readers: Fluoridation of my drinking water has always irked me. Any idea where I can go to look up the fluoride concentration in my local drinking water? (I live in Arlington, VA).

    Nevra @ ChurnYourOwn

    August 30th, 2012 1:44 pm Reply
    • Oliver


      August 30th, 2012 2:16 pm Reply
      • Oliver

        Call Perry Sasser at 703-228-6578
        for information about the next
        opportunity for public participation
        in decisions about your drinking
        water. You may also consult the
        DPW Website at
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        August 30th, 2012 2:19 pm Reply
  • Lisastars

    When my daughter was a baby, our dentist insisted on flouride drops since we have well water. Every time I tried to give them to her, she would vomit them right back up. After 4-5 tries, I threw the bottle away. The dentist plagued me with tales of how her teeth would be adversely affected and cavity ridden. At almost 22, she has perfect teeth with not one cavity. I read in a holistic dentistry book (sorry can’t remember which one) that Hitler purposely added flouride to the drinking water in Germany because at certain levels, it makes people more controllable. Just what the government wants us to be….sheep.

    August 30th, 2012 1:07 pm Reply
  • nyscof

    Christine: The Harvard study is a review of 27 fluoride/IQ studies, a meta-analysis, which together show an average deficit of 7 IQ points in children, which is a significant finding, and, unlike most critics information, was published in a scientific peer-reviewed journal. And that journal is published by the federal government (US Dep’t of HHS)

    There are now over 40 published human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence and/or neurobehavioral deficits

    · Over 40 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, particularly when coupled with an iodine deficiency, or aluminum excess;

    · 15 animal studies reporting that mice or rats ingesting fluoride have an impaired capacity for learning and memory;

    · 4 human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development.

    The following is an explanation by Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of the Fluoride Action Network and co-author of the book, The Case Against Fluoride.

    “Xiang et al, 2003, one of the 27 studies reviewed by Choi estimated that the threshold for the lowering of IQ was 1.9 ppm. A child drinking two liters of water at 1 ppm fluoride (2 mg of fluoride per day) would get more fluoride than some of the Chinese children drinking one liter of water at 1.9 ppm (1.9 mg/day).

    ‘Moreover another study ( Ding et al., 2012) found a lowering of IQ in the range of 0.3 – 3 ppm. No matter how you cut it – and no matter how much you want fluoridation to continue for emotional reasons – the science says that there is no adequate margin of safety – by any normal and rational toxicological standard – to protect ALL of America’s children from this serious end point. This outdated practice must be ended QUICKLY before we do further damage to our children and our future. If you must have fluoride, then brush it on your teeth and spit it out but don’t force it on the whole population via our drinking water.”

    About whether the F water levels in the 27 original studies are close enough to be relevant to those in US fluoridated cities. Actually, an even better question is whether the TOTAL F intake in the subjects in China overlaps the F intake of Americans.
    When you look at the levels of water F in all of the 27 studies (Choi Table 1) in fact many of the low F reference groups had water F that was considerably less than 0.7 mg/L, with several as low as 0.4 mg/L. The high F groups had as little as 0.88 mg/L F in their water, and many high F groups were in the 2-3 mg/L range. Thus some low F groups had water F concentrations lower than in US fluoridated cities and some had high F concentrations only somewhat higher than in US fluoridated cities.

    You might argue that a water F concentration of 2 mg/L is more than “somewhat” higher than in US fluoridated cities. But there are two counterarguments:

    First, in toxicology, it is common to provide a safety margin of at least a factor of 10. So a safety factor of 2 just isn’t sufficient.

    Second, a more relevant measure of F exposure is urine or serum F, both of which reflect the total intake of F from all sources, not just drinking water. In the studies from China, almost none of the children used fluoridated toothpaste, had F supplements, or had dietary sources of F besides drinking water. In the US, all these additional sources of F can easily double the total F intake of a child. So, a Chinese study with a high F group drinking 2 mg/L F would provide a total exposure similar to a population of American children drinking 1 mg/L water.

    For references on the urine F level in the Chinese studies, it turns out that 11 reported urine F in addition to water F. For 5 of these the mean urine F was less than 3 mg/L. There is a surprising dearth of information on urine F levels in American children with which to compare these Chinese data. However, a study in the UK (Mansfield 1999) found that about 6% of adults had more than 3 mg/L F in their urine, and the UK has much less fluoridation than the US. Children will tend to have higher total F intake for their body weight and therefore higher urine F because they drink more water for their body weight and are much more likely to swallow toothpaste. That information can be found in the NRC 2006 report.

    Most of the Chinese studies are available in translation online at no cost.

    So, to put the Choi study into context quantitatively, it suggests that Chinese children with total F exposures that are similar to some American children in fluoridated cities had an average IQ decline of 5-10 points. The levels of F exposure and the consequences are quite pertinent to water fluoridation in the US.

    The most important finding of the Choi study is the remarkable consistency of the Chinese studies. Only 1 of the 27 did not find a lowering of IQ in the higher F exposure group. Such consistency is rarely found in meta-analyses. Choi also provides arguments for why it seems unlikely that a systematic bias is creating a spurious effect in all these studies.

    Even if the Choi meta-analysis and the studies that underlie it can’t prove that IQ is lowered by F at exposure levels occurring in the US, the fact that no government that supports fluoridation has ever sponsored a single higher quality study to try to provide a better answer does not reassure us of the safety of fluoridation.

    August 30th, 2012 12:33 pm Reply
    • Christine

      Thanks. Great information. I will be using it.

      August 30th, 2012 12:41 pm Reply
  • Another Beth

    I wonder how much fluoride is removed by our Kenmore undersink reverse osmosis filter purchased from Sears.

    August 30th, 2012 12:29 pm Reply
  • Beth

    I just passed this study on to my dentist office. I think it’s important to let our practitioners know that we know what is currently being studied and that we’re not uninformed patients. (That, and I just had this discussion a week ago with my hygienist who insisted flouride is completely safe after I told her I don’t use toothpaste with flouride because it’s a poison. I know… I’m such a trouble-maker!!!) 😛

    August 30th, 2012 12:06 pm Reply
    • jezna

      You ma’am, are an idiot. The professionals are smarter than you. They’re constantly performing tests and studies like these. There is a natural level of fluoride in all water. If you want to go back to “natural” everything, our “natural” age to die is in our thirties. Our teeth didn’t used to even make it until then. On top of that, there is fluoride in the rivers. Its at a lower amount, but its still present. Your bodies have receptors and very impressive mechanisms to remove toxins. We’re very efficient at it. A low level of fluoride is naturally taken care of by your body and makes a large and significant difference in your dental health.

      August 30th, 2012 12:34 pm Reply
      • Beth

        First off, name calling is inappropriate and detracts from your credibility.
        Secondly, the fluoride added to the water system is quite different and is a toxic waste product of petroleum fertilizer manufacturing.
        Thirdly, if you would take the time to read the work of Weston A. Price and other scientists, and this blog and many others, you’ll discover that there were many societies around the world who, eating their native diets before the arrival of modern processed foods, had perfect teeth with virtually no decay. This tooth health was reflected in the rest of their bodies which were strong and resistant to disease.

        August 30th, 2012 7:23 pm Reply
        • Jezna

          First off, anyone who strongly believes that every dentist out there in America is trying to POISON them, is an idiot. The dentists and practitioners have already seen this study and they know that it doesn’t prove anything. The doses and concentration are significantly higher (5x-1000x) than anything you would get here in the US. Also, the source of the fluoridation (since that seems so important to you) was different. Calling something a “toxic waste product” doesn’t mean anything. For one, its only toxic in extremely high doses. Second, we can synthesize this compound in a lab; however, its much more expensive that way so we purify it from a different source. The work of Weston A. Price was done in the 1930’s! Its completely obsolete by todays standards. There have been MANY other studies. Also, I like how you reference the other societies where their teeth were perfect. Please, tell me: what was their life expectancy? How often did they eat? What was the percent of the population that starved to death? How many hours did they sleep? Are you suggesting that we follow their example? Are you really holding up some random society as the pinnacle of the best standard of living?

          August 31st, 2012 7:52 am Reply
          • Prawda

            Show me ANY area where ALL the experts “agree.” There has always been a lot of debate about the use of flouride in drinking water, hence you see cities that have never flouridated and those that have recently stopped. So saying “the professionals are smarter than you” is meaningless. Which ones? Also, please cite any studies that show that areas with flouridated water have seen decreased levels of dental caries, please?

            August 31st, 2012 3:35 pm
          • Prawda

            Er – the first link is a summary of the CDC’s official position (no studies), the second link is broken and the third link discusses fluorosis in children’s teeth (the mottling of developing teeth due to exposure to too much flouride) but I see nothing about benefits.

            Again, where is a study that shows communities BEFORE and AFTER flouridation, that clearly shows a decline in caries?

            September 1st, 2012 1:36 pm
          • Prawda

            Here is a study showing flouridated water does NOT decrease dental caries:

            In New Hampshire, flouridated water sources must contain a warning:

            “Your public water supply is fluoridated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if your child under the age of 6 months is exclusively consuming infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, there may be an increased chance of dental fluorosis. Consult your child’s health care provider for more information.”


            From the Journal of the American Dental Association, flouride does not decrease cavities but does increase the instance of flourosis.


            September 1st, 2012 2:18 pm
          • Jezna

            I’m sorry I can’t hold your hand through the CDC website. There are links throughout the article. On the left side of the background page I sent you to is a link called Journal Articles. That’s the website that lists all of the articles. They have done studies before and after. The links need to be approved, which takes the moderator some time so I’m not going to put it in. I’m hoping you can figure it out?

            The CDC isn’t a for-profit government business. The fact that even Republicans don’t cut funding to the CDC makes it pretty important. They’re role is to be objective. The FDA is overly regulatory and I would argue pretty strongly that they should let more things through than less. No one should ever ban bacon. It should be up to people whether or not they should eat bacon. The only reason I agree with removing fluoride from the water is because it should be up to people.

            There is a difference between saying a product is safe versus saying a product is necessary. Fluoride is safe; however, it is not necessary. I know everyone on this website is hypervigilent about hygiene and what goes in their bodies, so its essentially preaching to choir when I say that you do need oral hygeine and to clean your mouth. The easiest anti-microbial (especial in your mouth) is fluoride.

            September 1st, 2012 2:47 pm
          • Oliver

            vaccines, like bacon, should also be a matter of choice – and not forced on families, or have the family denied other services from their local clinics because they don’t subscribe to certain hysteria or hype.
            The CDC wants you to beleive they are an objective agency, giving equal voice to all sides of the debate – this is so not the case, and again if there was Zero profit yeilded, vaccines wouldn’t have legs and the CDC wouldn’t push it so hard.
            And for the record, if you haven’t read my rantings and ravings before, I loves me some bacon – HOWEVER, heated fats, fired fats etc can very much be carcinogenic.

            September 1st, 2012 3:00 pm
          • Prawda

            Nothing is truly objective, not even the CDC. I don’t necessarily believe they are out to poison us all but they are not infallable either. Government agencies are big and slow to change. I’m glad you agree with choice, we all should look at the available reseach and make our choices. I don’t think anyone here has made their choices without doing any research, which goes back to my original point. The “experts” do not all agree that flouride has any benefit on dental health. There are other ways of keeping good oral hygiene; oil pulling and probiotics to keep the pathogenic bacteria at bay are some examples. (Flouride kills all bacteria, good and bad.) These methods are more effective at preventing periodontal disease, which is one of the main causes of tooth loss in adults.

            September 1st, 2012 3:27 pm
          • Prawda

            Another weak facet of your argument is giving the CDC the final say in the debate – why do you believe CDC has the most authority over other similar government agencies that support not flouridating water in their country? Why do you believe the CDC knows better than health officials in Germany, Greece, Austria, etc., etc., ect?

            September 1st, 2012 4:31 pm
          • Jezna

            Have you ever met a scientist? Scientists are know-it-alls who constantly try to out know-it-all one another. The articles that the CDC reference are really good. If there was a weakness in their argument, data (statistically, the way the data was taken, if there were enough controls), the paper would not have been publishes- essentially, I believe peer reviewed papers. The CDC takes its position from these peer-reviewed papers. The paper that the author is referencing is peer-reviewed and legitimite; HOWEVER: the sources of the fluoridation was significantly higher than the doses here in the US, the source of the fluoridation was different here in the US. They couldn’t account for the dose of iodine or aluminum. And they didn’t have the proper controls when it came to IQ of the rural areas they were testing in China in India. Lastly, the study needed to combine multiple studies that had different methods of testing the IQs, different levels of fluoride, different areas of the world. IQ tests themselves are not very reliable and can change due to language barriers. Anyway, the reason they needed combine all these different factor was to get ANYthing statistically significant to even say. And then they can ONLY say, “support the possibility.” Also, those “significantly” lower IQ scores were five points. Your IQ can change five points during the day if you forgot to have your morning coffee. I trust the CDC because the articles are literally a time-based study that they performed before fluoridated water and after and they tested for cavities and safety.

            September 1st, 2012 4:49 pm
          • Oliver

            Jenza – bogus reports and studies are published all the time. Decent, reputable studies are published as well and sometimes they have to retracted just like many manufactures of reliable products have to recall a faulty product (Baby carriages, cars etc).
            Scientists get the biggest pass in this country and the world over – because they are scientists, and we just assume they are right and all knowing; “If a scientist said it it must be true…”
            Unless you really know about a subject, one can be told and in most cases convinced of anything – this dynamic is true in sports, entertainment, finance and science etc – until you really know for yourself, you never really know.
            Don’t “trust” the CDC – u don’t know them – and more importantly they don’t know you – they don’t know you enough to really care about your particular needs. Don’t trust anyone. Be a cynic, a skeptic – always the safer way to go than being gullible – or the appearance of gullible, like saying you trust a stranger… Trust your family, friends and loved ones. Trust what you have learned from your own studies based on your own investigations,,, and then trust your instinct.

            September 1st, 2012 5:12 pm
          • Prawda

            We have quite a few scientists in the family and the more they study, the more humble they become knowing they really know so little. NONE of them are know it alls, thankfully. I would feel suspect of any study where the authors have huge egos that are likely to get in the way of any unexpected or undesireable results.

            September 1st, 2012 5:16 pm
          • Prawda

            Also, this morning I posted a link to a published study (and very current, you’ll like that) that shows exactly the opposite, it’s still waiting to be approved.

            September 1st, 2012 5:18 pm
          • Jezna

            I didn’t mean it as the scientists know everything and therefore they are God. I meant it as, if I tell a scientist that the grass is green, they’re going to want spectral wavelength evidence of twelve different varieties of grass in order to prove it. There will never be a study in which someone publishes their opinion such as, “my kids were unvacinated and therefore healthier than yours.” Thats empirical. What I mean is that scientists are skeptics. They’re skeptical of everything. You can’t state anything as fact unless you have evidence in your hands showing how you know what you know and why its true. The reason articles are retracted, and they are, is because other scientists have found fallacies in their data or argument. A retraction is considered incredibly shameful in the scientific community. That being said, the articles that the CDC references have never been retracted. They are in peer review journals and published by credible authors. Frankly, I am a skeptic. I’m a huge skeptic, and I’ve read this article and its more or less useless. The spin that people are putting on this paper is wrong. The paper should be titled, “High and varying doses of fluoride (and possibly aluminum or iodine and maybe other things) possibly cause a lower test score that was given various different ways in different languages to a particular group of people that may or may no be significantly significant”

            September 1st, 2012 6:09 pm
          • Oliver

            Jenza – you can have anything you want published, and it can be ludicrous, factful, false, it doesn’t matter. Science debates, black holes, the existence of god, life after death, you name it.
            And not all bogus publications are retracted – they just hang around in the files… And to that, the CDC has had plenty of articles “updated, abridged” so to speak.
            Sometimes, when science projects go afoul (drug making for instance) they don’t retract or recall anything – until they are sued. The most sued company in america is one that is filled with scientists, scientists who get stuff wrong at our expense – Pfizer. Those scientists at Pfizer aren’t skeptics – they don’t weight out pros or cons or morals etc – they just get paid and couldn’t really care about being skeptical – so too with the scientists who make cigarettes.
            And Pfizer and the CDC are the best of bedfellows ( you can google that too).

            September 1st, 2012 6:23 pm
          • Prawda

            Here is a WHO graph showing the decline of instances of caries in 12 year olds in fluoridated countries. Of course, the additional graphs show the same decline in unfluoridated countries. Not sure if you give the WHO equal authoritative weight to the CDC.


            I looked through the CDC journal articles. Only one touches on the subject of effectiveness and safety of water fluoridation. When the fluoridation experiment began, some cities fluoridated and some were not (the controls.) The studies were supposed to last 10 or fifteen years. In some cities (Grand Rapids and Newburg, NY), fluoridation was considered a success after only five years. This is not enough time to even see the permanent teeth of children who had been drinking the fluoridated water. The unfluoridated cities asked to become fluoridated at this time, after five years. The study was therefore never completed. If it were actually a valid study, it seems reasonable to expect that the instance of caries would have declined in both groups, as we see with the WHO data. Do you have another source showing the efficacy of water fluoridation?

            Here is an interesting article showing the rates of cavities in cities that stop fluoridating their water. They decline.


            September 2nd, 2012 1:39 am
          • Jezna

            Ah, Prawda, you are correct in assuming that I would also trust the WHO. I do have to concede the point that fluoride in water does not decrease the instances of cavities or caries. (now I’m wondering what is causing the overall decrease? increased awareness of the importance of oral hygiene?) Regardless, thank you for looking up those sources, I do appreciate it. I still stand by my statement that small doses of fluoride (such as the one in the tap water) does not cause brain damage or neurological deficiencies- however, if it isn’t doing anything, there should be no reason for taxpayers to continue to pay for it to be added.

            Oliver- anything can be published or put online. Peer-reviewed journals (Nature, Cell, Science, even Environmental Health Perspectives- which btw, NOT PRESTIGIOUS) have a much higher standard. Every journal article must be sent to other scientists in the field. Essentially, your competitors. These scientists attempt to poke holes in the data and your argument. If you data and points stand up to such scrutiny, the article gets published. The CDC is objective. Sometimes the other side of the argument is just wrong. You wouldn’t give any credence to a blind person arguing that the grass is really pink. You wouldn’t alter textbooks to account for the opposite side of the debate. First off, the blind person can’t see. Second, they’re wrong. Their argument deserves and should receive no such credibility or time. As such, creationism shouldn’t be taught in schools and doctors shouldn’t listen to parents who think they’re informed because they read Jenny McCarthy’s book. Doctors should be able to read scientists data that measures the decrease in the measles, mumps, reubellsa as a direct correlation to the availability in the vaccine. They should be able to read the ingredient list of the vaccines, along with MSDS fact sheets, scientific proof that everything contained in the vaccine does no harm. They shouldn’t have to listen to parents that have no medical background, have taken no science course, can’t even explain how a vaccine actually works and think that the doctors are there to poison them. I’m sorry, they don’t deserve a place in the argument.

            September 2nd, 2012 2:27 pm
          • Prawda

            I really wondered the same thing about the decline . . .

            September 2nd, 2012 5:17 pm
          • Oliver

            Jenza –“high Standards” is a relative term as is prestigious. High levels of medicine, politics, religion and education etc have done some many scrupulous things over the decades and centuries — some have been exposed and offered up weak apologies and some who have been errant are still in denial. The level of scrutiny of someone’s work does not determine if it will be published or implemented, or in the case of these many powerful drugs that get created every year, sold to the public.
            You can’t ignore that reality. You can’t ignore, that published papers turn out to be wrong or inaccurate all the time. You keep clinging to this idea of “published” as the gold standard for truth and justice and the American way. Money and profit is the American way, and if you think a little publishing dynamic is going to get in the way of the big business that is health care, drug making/selling, vaccines etc, you are grossly looking at this through rose colored glasses — respectfully.
            The CDC is hardly objective — they have an agenda and they rarely veer from it. One case in point is their giving us both sides of the story on raw milk vs pasteurized — actually they have only one side; raw milk will kill you and you must drink the P milk. They give countless tales of damage done due to drinking raw milk and even provide links to get more testimony as to the ravages caused by raw milk. There is no mention or link to any testimony of the many people and families that have lived for decades and centuries on raw milk here and around the world. There are plenty of healthy folk who drink raw milk — some right here on this blog (maybe the CDC should provide a link to sarahs blog ).
            The CDC says that raw milk can be contaminated. Poor farming practices will of course give you high risk contaminated milk but what person is buying from there? Why doesn’t the CDC move to shut those places down? And why doesn’t the cdc say that perhaps we should seek out a reputable farm known for its high level of sanitary practices and conditions etc…
            Why don’t they give the truth of both sides? Answer: Because the raw milk industry is perhaps less than one percent of the milk industry. Raw milk farmers have little money, little power, little voices, and zero funding for lobbying etc. Cash is king — please try to understand that that is what rules the roost.
            The CDC who also gives the green light and blessing to Pfizer on a number of issues.
            I would much rather listen to one mom that 100 scientists. You give too much credit to science. Quiet as it’s kept, science is not an exact science. Science, way more times than not, gets in the way of itself. Scientists always seem to get a pass. More than any other profession it seems, scientists can do no wrong and never be wrong — “If a scientist said it, it must be so…” This is part of the problem. Science will never be smarter than mother nature — or mother.
            We have become accustomed as a civilized culture, to waiting around for science to give us the thumbs up or the green light or go ahead on so many things. It evolves into a type of fear mongering. This country no longer knows how to breast feed. There are actual books out there on how to breast feed. There are books out there on how to give birth. Really? Profit has it that you need thirty trained people in the room in order for you to have a baby. You spend thousands of dollars to make sure 30 trained people are waiting for you at the hospital and then you go and have the baby in the taxi cab — delivered by a bike messenger (true NY story).
            HA HA HA Whos laughing? I’m not laughing, but some folks in third world nations are laughing as they pop babies out all the time right there in the hut. And they didn’t need some lemaze class to learn how to breathe and push. And then those third world mommies and some sensible ones right here in the US, without fear, enjoy the other most natural act on the planet— suckling.
            But to each his own. If you want or need to wait around for “science” to figure everything out for you that is your choice. If it only matters to you that the WHO says you can now breastfeed up to and past 3 years of age, then feel free to have them dictate to you what you can or can do with your body or your baby.

            September 2nd, 2012 5:40 pm
        • jezna

          I’m not sure it’s letting post the website to the CDC. The CDC website on fluoridation literally lists every single journal article showing that the fluoridation reduces cavities in children and adults. The way the fluoridation works is as an anti-microbial. Anyway, the CDC also has links to articles that were not funded specifically to determine whether fluoride is safe and its efficacy. There is no reason the government or dentists would give fluoride to people without making sure its safe.

          September 1st, 2012 9:21 am Reply
          • Oliver

            The CDC is truly about making money – they make a fortune in vaccines – even though they say they’re giving both sides (or all sides) of the story, their real agenda is to sell product. If you paruse there website it’s like Amazon, with so many things to sell you…
            As for the governmentdoing what the do, you shouldn’t put your faith, or beliefs in them either. Even the FDA doesn’t really care about you as an individual or your family — they don’t want your money necessarily but there is plenty of lobbying that involves the FDA . The FDA that we all hold on high as the governing body created to protect us from foods and drugs that can harm us. Have you seen the list of things they’ve approved over the years; Bacon, cigarettes, alcohol.
            How does the FDA, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, responsible for protecting and promoting public health give the green light to cigarettes, alcohol and bacon? Like flouride perhaps, is alcohol safe? Or cigarettes? Stevia, a plant that yields a lower carb sugar is still trying to get approval but the FDA feels it might not be safe. That might not be safe yet bacon, cigarettes, and booze gets the thumbs up.

            September 1st, 2012 10:53 am
          • Prawda

            Actually, dentists in my area are all fine not giving flouride and it is not uncommon for parents to decline this treatment for their children. None of them offer amalgam fillings, either, even though the government and half of the US dentists say that it is safe.

            September 1st, 2012 1:44 pm
  • christy

    What is flouridated salt? I’ve never heard of it.. Would somebody kindly enlighten me on what it is,(other than the obvious..) where it’s usually hidden, etc..? : )

    August 30th, 2012 11:49 am Reply
  • Oliver

    If you put a white tee shirt into the sink and let the tap water run for a half hour or so onto it, you will see a host of other chemicals (on your shirt), that are equally puzzeling and potentially harmful – It’s no wonder why so many people have hair and skin issues – by way of showering.

    August 30th, 2012 11:41 am Reply
  • Diane

    What are the best options for water if you want to drink unfluoridated water?

    August 30th, 2012 11:18 am Reply
    • Keep it simple

      Boil it or buy bottled

      August 30th, 2012 11:38 am Reply
      • PattyLA

        Boiling will not remove fluoride, just chlorine. You need a special water filter made to remove fluoride. I got mine from the water exchange.

        August 30th, 2012 11:56 am Reply
    • Kelli

      We have a Berkey filter and you can buy an extra filter to take out fluoride.

      September 2nd, 2012 11:27 am Reply
  • Joyce

    Of course the government has been knowing this lowers IQ’s since the 20’s! The Soviets used it in their water supply to dumb down the public! I have been trying to ring the alarm for so long. But I get labeled a “conspiracy theorist”! Also studies have shown that it harms blacks more than any other race (as a black person myself this really has me more reasons to be upset! – http://iaomt.org/news/archive.asp?intReleaseID=249 ). We don’t have this in our water supply (we have chlorine!) it’s time people stop being zombies and start taking their lives & health back! Thank you Sarah!

    August 30th, 2012 11:17 am Reply
    • Joyce

      But I grew up on well water, and now I either drink it bottled (which doesn’t do much) or filter it.

      August 30th, 2012 11:19 am Reply
  • Renee N.

    Great article! I spent three years in Japan (been back in the states for almost a year now) and didn’t know if the water was fluoridated or not, so I just didn’t drink it. It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I even learned the dangers of fluoride or the benefits of traditional food. Anyway, I’m glad to know that Japan and many other countries have banned, rejected, or stopped the use of fluoridated water. I’m also glad I was raised on filtered well water!

    August 30th, 2012 11:12 am Reply
    • Kelli

      I am pregnant with our first child, and we will be moving to Japan by the time it is one year. I am SO THANKFUL that it will grow up in a place where the water isn’t fluoridated!

      September 2nd, 2012 11:24 am Reply
      • wellll

        Good luck with the radiation instead!

        November 10th, 2013 10:54 am Reply
  • Christine

    Here in Portland, Oregon, the city council is taking upon themselves to put fluoride in our water in motion. We are the 2nd largest city that has stopped fluoride being place in our water up until now. So much for being a progressive city, I feel like we just entered the dark ages.

    I tried to quote this study at a rally when one of my co-protesters stopped me and said that these studies were looking at relatively high levels of fluoride in the water compared to what Portland expects to put in our water. (So therefore, the argument is invalid.) I would like to use this study in an upcoming open forum, but would like to be able to answer to this potential objection. Do you have any advice?

    August 30th, 2012 11:08 am Reply
    • Sarah, TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Here’s is one potential help to you. Check this link. http://www.fluoridation.com/c-country.htm

      “In 1978, the West German Association of Gas & Water Experts rejected fluoridation for legal reasons and because ‘the so-called optimal fluoride concentration of 1 mg per L is close to the dose at which long-term damage [to the human body] is to be expected.’ ”

      You don’t need high levels of fluoride to have neurological damage which is why Europe has pretty much uniformly rejected it in drinking water.

      August 30th, 2012 11:21 am Reply
      • DTJ

        Re: flouride and lower IQ.
        What you fail to note is that the study data from rural China, the flourine poisoning comes from burning contaminated coal inside their homes without proper ventilation. The smoke from cooking is making them sick. It has nothing to do with flouride in water supplies.

        A headline translates into fearmongering by those that are willfully ignorant. I thought it was strange that rural China would be fluoridating their water, they are not. It took 3 minutes to find the blatant misrepresentation by those with an agenda, where the actual facts of the scientific study, are not important.

        March 14th, 2013 7:41 am Reply
        • Christine

          The research that the Harvard Study did was in reference to 27 epidemiological studies where they “conducted sensitivity analyses restricted to studies using the same outcome assessment and having drinking-water fluoride as the only exposure.” I think the report is significant enough to be concerned about putting fluoride in our water. Who can stand to lose even a point of their IQ? In addition, placing fluoride in our water is a loss of our liberties. If I want fluoride in my water, I can just swallow my toothpaste.

          March 14th, 2013 11:22 am Reply
          • DTJ

            FYI, China does NOT flouridate their water.

            “The researchers conducted a systematic review of studies, almost all of which are from China where risks from fluoride are well-established. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance in groundwater, and exposures to the chemical are increased in some parts of China. Virtually no human studies in this field have been conducted in the U.S., said lead author Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH.”

            Fear if you must, but there is no basis for fearing minuscule amounts of flouride in potable water.

            Fearmongering is easy. Rational thought is scarce these days.

            March 14th, 2013 4:19 pm
    • Dianne

      So, a lower level of poison is okay? Also, it may be cumulative; you’d need to find some verifiable information on that.

      August 30th, 2012 11:49 am Reply
      • Oliver

        Every organic entity on this planet is poison – everything has some level of toxicity, from the apple to the carrot to beets to peanuts to fish and birds and cows. And this is not due to science screwing things up, they do add a lot of crap to the equation, but it is the natural way of all organic life – and inorganic as well (natural metals and minerals are also toxic).
        It is our job, like every other species, to figure which things are lesss harmful and how much should we ingest of it. We used to know this instinctively (like the rest of the species still do), but we have long since screwed that up – there is no “blueprint” left for what man used to eat and should only eat, and drink.
        Every summer I drink water straight from the mountain water falls. People complain about the parasites and other microorganism in the water – those microorganisms are natural to us and our bodies and are actually essential to our good health.

        August 30th, 2012 12:19 pm Reply

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