A recent study in JAMA Pediatrics examined prenatal fluoride exposure in Canadian mothers and a possible link to their child’s IQ score and fluoride consumption. Researchers found that a higher amount of fluoride in the urine of pregnant women was associated with a lower IQ score in boys born to them. There was no association in girls. A number of experts have raised questions about the study's quality, including Dr. Steven Novella, a clinical neurologist at Yale University's School of Medicine who authored a response published on Science Based Medicine (link below). The JAMA study certainly raises important questions; Virginia Health Catalyst is very supportive of future research. However, due to the preponderance of scientific research and evidence that demonstrates water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health intervention to prevent dental disease, and the ongoing support of the scientific and medical community for water fluoridation, the Virginia Health Catalyst continues to strongly support fluoride use and community water fluoridation. Of note:
- Over 70 years of research and experience underline the safety and efficacy of fluoride use to prevent tooth decay.
- Multiple studies from the last few years have shown no significant link between IQ over time and being exposed to fluoride early in life; in contrast to the JAMA study
- Numerous national provider associations and members of the scientific community have reiterated their support for water fluoridation in the wake of this research and have drafted statements that draw on scientific expertise to explain their concerns with the study and to highlight the importance of water fluoridation. Of note:
Additional resources will be added as new information and research becomes available.