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Report: Fluoride Dangerous to Childrens’ Brains?

Experts identify fluoride as developmental neurotoxin (February 20)

Fluoride has joined lead, arsenic, methylmercury, toluene, tetrachloroethylene, and other chemicals known to cause harm to brains, according to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), a nonprofit advocacy group.

Fluoride has been newly classified as a developmental neurotoxin by medical authorities in the March 2014 issue of Lancet Neurology. The authors are Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine.

The authors write: “A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations.” Most of the 27 studies had water fluoride levels that the Environmental Protection Agency currently allows in the U.S. — less than 4 mg/L.

According to the FAN, developmental neurotoxins can cause brain disorders, such as autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other cognitive impairments.

Grandjean and Landrigan propose the formation of a new international clearinghouse to evaluate chemicals for potential neurotoxicity. The main efforts of this group would be to:

  • Screen industrial chemicals present in human exposures for neurotoxic effects so that hazardous substances can be identified for tighter control
  • Stimulate and coordinate new research to understand how toxic chemicals interfere with brain development and how best to prevent long-term dysfunctions and deficits
  • Gather and assess documentation about brain toxicity, and stimulate international collaboration on research and prevention

The authors also suggest that a clearinghouse could promote policy development aimed at protecting vulnerable populations against chemicals that are toxic to the brain without needing “unrealistic amounts of scientific proof.”

Sources: PR Newswire; February 20, 2014; and Lancet Neurology; February 15, 2014.

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