Adding fluoride to city water systems, hailed by the Centers for Disease Control as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,” actually becomes an IQ-killer for children, according to a new report.
A Chinese study has been reported by the Fluoride Action Network that found a startling difference between children in two cities with significantly different levels of fluoride in their water systems.
The study involved 512 children between 8 to 13 years old in two Chinese villages that were about 50 miles apart. Wamaio had 2.47 milligrams per liter of fluoride and the village of Xinhuai had 0.36 milligrams per liter of fluoride.
The test showed the city with the higher fluoride had children with IQ scores 5-10 points lower.
The reports said the study rated 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride town of Xinhuai as “bright, normal or higher intelligence,” while only 8 percent in the high-fluoride Wamaio were in that category.
Further, it said 15 percent of the children in the high-fluoride city had scores indicating mental handicaps, while only 6 percent had the same results in the low-fluoride city.
St. Lawrence University Chemistry Professor and environmental activist Paul Connett says the two towns studied were remarkably similar in demographics and infrastructure. And he said the Chinese study is only the latest in a long list of studies that have produced alarmingly similar results.
“This is the 24th study which has found a relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ. They come from China, India, Iran and Mexico,” Connett stated.
Listen to the first part of an interview with Connett:
But he says this study is different from the others.
“The difference with this study which makes it more important is that not only do they find a relationship between fluoride in the water, but they brought it closer to individual exposure,” Connett explained.
“They showed a relationship between lowered IQ and the fluoride levels in the blood,” Connett further explained.
“When you adjust and look at the fluoride levels in the serum, in the blood, then you are closer to individual exposure which strengthens this study,” Connett added.
University of Ulster microbiologist and epidemiologist Dr. Vyvyan Howard says
that fluoride is harmful for several reasons.
“It could be a direct toxic effect or secondly and I think it’s more likely personally that it may be an indirect effect. It reduces the level of thyroxin, which is thyroid hormone in the body. Thyroid hormone is absolutely essential for the normal development of the brain,” Howard said.
“If you have no thyroid hormone you get a condition called cretinism, which leads to the brain failing to develop normally. What they found is that for women who are in the normal thyroid range, you can detect small changes in the IQ’s of children of mothers who were in the top end of that normal range,” Howard explained.
Howard says the relationship between fluoride and the thyroid has been used to control thyroid imbalances.
“Physicians knew decades ago that you could prescribe fluoride to control overactive thyroid typically in young women. It was a treatment for reducing thyroid activity,” Howard explained further.
Listen to an interview with Howard:
The St. Lawrence University professor says there are other factors such as how much of the public water supply children and adults drink that must be considered. Connett says the Chinese study in question included these variables, but also considered the possibility that the study’s subjects may have gotten fluoride from other sources.
He also takes aim at the United States government for not accepting the validity of the studies.
“These studies have been coming out over the last 15 years or so, and yet they haven’t bothered to reproduce them in the United States or in any other fluoridating country. There’s one small IQ study in New Zealand (that has been reprinted in the U.S.) and that’s it,” Connett observed.
The SLU professor says the United States government opts to question the authority of the study and its researchers.
“So, they feel it is enough each time these studies are published to criticize the methodology. It’s always easy to criticize epidemiological studies. It’s very difficult to control for everything. So that’s what they do – criticize the methodology,” Connett asserted.
“If they were responsible what they would do is to demonstrate how superb American science is do a study with exquisite epidemiology and show there is not a problem. But they don’t do that,” Connett contended.
According to the CDC website, “community water fluoridation has been a safe and healthy way to effectively prevent tooth decay.”
“Water fluoridation has undergone extensive scientific review to assess its public health benefits and risks,” states the CDC. “For many years, panels of experts from different health and scientific fields have provided strong evidence that water fluoridation is safe and effective.”
Howard allows that while fluoride can be toxic, other studies show that there is an example of how human bodies have shown the capacity to protect themselves from high fluoride levels.
“There was some studies done in Sweden that showed that even if you loaded lactating mothers who are breastfeeding their children, if you loaded them with fluoride, although the fluoride in the serum went up, the fluoride in the breast milk did not,” Howard explained.
“And it was incredibly low levels. What they tells me is that we have developed a mechanism specifically to keep that class of fluoride anion away from the fetus,” Howard continued.
“Chloride ions in breast milk are plentiful, but they’re essential for life. There are mechanisms that don’t prevent that from getting through,” Howard added.
Even so, Howard also says that fluoride is also dangerous for other reasons.
“Fluoride contributes to the onset of osteosarcoma, a very malignant tumor of the bone which occurs in young people,” Howard explained.
“There are two studies now which are indicating that in young males, the incidence of osteosarcoma in fluoridated areas is many times higher – four of five times higher than in unfluoridated areas,” Howard related.
Returning to the Chinese study, Connett still says its conclusions have to be seriously considered. The major reason is that the Chinese methodology was sound.
“Zhang and his co-workers went one step further. They noted that there was no difference in the lead levels in the water, which could also account for lowered IQ. And there was no difference in iodine intake, again which is something that would interfere with IQ,” Connett observed.
“He was pretty thorough in controlling every variable that he could think of,” Connett added.
Listen to the rest of Connett’s interview:
Connett believes that Chinese research and other studies have worked through a wide enough of a range of biological issues to have believability.
“You’ve got certainly plausible biological mechanisms, you’ve got animal studies which show that fluoride can interfere with various brain activities and now, we have a direct – these studies that point to changes in human beings, not just animals,” Connett maintained.
“We have a mighty red flag that’s being waved here. Sadly, countries that fluoridate their water, and there aren’t many, the United States is one, it started here, seem more intent on protecting this program than they are to protect the children,” Connett stated.
Connett adds that there is no discernable improvement in dental health in the nations that fluoridate their water from the nations that don’t.
Howard agrees, adding that policy makers have a tough decision to make.
“Even the most optimistic of studies claiming that dental health is improved by fluoride, claim only that one or two teeth are a bit better off,” Howard stated.
“What decision makers have to do is to weigh that up against the possibility that you may be adversely affecting the outcome of neurodevelopment in a whole population,” Howard observed.
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