Fluoridation and ADHD: a Connection
Governments and health authorities across the globe routinely authorize the fluoridation of community drinking supplies. They do this by adding hydrofluorosilicic acid, which is intended to substitute for the naturally occurring calcium fluoride which exists in some water sources.
It’s also sometimes added to food products such as table salt, as well as being an ingredient that’s considered essential in most brands of toothpaste. Fluoride has been an invisible presence in the daily life of billions of people for over sixty years.
Originally intended to assist in improving the dental health of the overall population, and particularly to reduce caries in the teeth of young children, fluoridation has become a standard procedure. Right from the start, though, there have been critical voices arguing that fluoridation had the potential to cause health issues, whatever its contribution to dental health in populations.
Now a new study from a group of international scientists and academics suggests that those who have argued against fluoridation over the years may have been right to be concerned.
Decades of Research
The latest results, from a paper published in Environment International entitled "Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Symptoms in Children at 6-12 Years of Age in Mexico City," report the findings of a team led by Dr. Morteza Bashash of Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
This paper represents the outcome of decades of research into fluoridation. And the findings are clear, judging by the comments of Dr Bashash himself: "Our findings are consistent with a growing body of evidence suggesting that the growing fetal nervous system may be negatively affected by higher levels of fluoride exposure.”
Contributors to the research included academics and scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health, York University, the University of Toronto, Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, the University of Michigan, Indiana University and the University of Washington.
Specifically, the researchers were looking at a possible connection between fluoridation of water and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in young people. ADHD is on the rise in children in the USA, with up to 9% currently diagnosed as presenting symptoms of the disorder.
Potential ADHD symptoms include attention problems, cognition impairment and hyperactivity. For some young people, these issues will continue into adulthood, creating problems for them as they embark on life.
The team studied levels of fluoride in the urine of pregnant women in Mexico and continued to measure the levels in both mother and child for years after the women had given birth. They focused on the years between six and twelve, an age at which ADHD symptoms are likely to be diagnosed.
After making adjustments for other factors such as birthweight, socio-economic status, age of the mother and smoking history, Bashash and his team concluded that “children with elevated prenatal exposure to fluoride were more likely to show symptoms of ADHD as reported by parents.” What’s more, prenatal fluoride exposure had a stronger association with inattentive behaviors and cognitive problems than hyperactivity.
Similar Results from other Studies
Neither the study nor its results are unique. Other research from a team from Simon Fraser University, the Université Laval, University of Montreal, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Indiana University indicated that municipal water sources were the major contributor to elevated fluoride levels in pregnant women’s urine.
Further, a study involving Harvard University in which the IQs of 8,000 Chinese children exposed to fluoride were investigated concluded that “high fluoride content in water may negatively affect cognitive development… average loss in IQ” could be “equivalent to seven IQ points…”
How Is Fluoridation Affecting You and Your Family?
Some health commentators are now rating fluoridation as a potential health risk that might draw parallels with lead and mercury. This would indicate that fluoride should be treated as a neurotoxin that impacts negatively on health. As well as the potential contribution to lowered IQ and ADHD, fluoride may also be linked to hypothyroidism, so there is undoubtedly cause for concern.