Written by Andrew Puhanic
A new study published in the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice titled ‘Effect of fluoride exposure on the intelligence of school children in Madhya Pradesh India’ has discovered that there is a significant relationship between intelligence in children and the level of fluoride in water.
The study was conducted in the Madhya Pradesh state of India using a cross-section of 12-year-old school children.
Children that were selected for the study were from areas that contained low levels of fluoride in their drinking water (Less than 1.5 parts per million) and high levels of fluoride in their drinking water (Greater than 1.5 parts per million).
The researchers concluded that average test scores between children who were exposed to high levels of fluoridated water had a statistically significant lower level of intelligence as compared to those children who were exposed to low levels of fluoride.
The Children’s intelligence was measured using the Raven’s Standard Progressive Matrices. As can be observed from the graph below, there is a significant cancellation between the water fluoride levels and intelligence.
The lowest mean grade was observed with water fluoride level <1.5 PPM. The highest mean grade (worst intelligence) was observed with water fluoride level >4.5 PPM. The differences for intelligence grades were statistically significant between the four groups.
Other recent studies into the effects of fluoride on the intelligence of children also concur with the study published in the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice:
- Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the China Medical University (CMU) analysed the results of over 20 studies and also concluded that children who are exposed to high levels of fluoride may have their cognitive development impaired.
- In another study recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives, Over 500 children from two villages in China who were exposed to both low and high levels of fluoride were analysed. The study concluded that there was a significant relation between fluoride levels and children’s IQ.
- A review of 11 studies involving more than 7,000 children showed that the effect of fluoride supplements on primary teeth could not be determined, with one study showing no cavity-reducing effect
Data from this research supports that children exposed to fluoride are at risk of impaired development of intelligence. Millions of children around the world are exposed to high concentration of fluoride in water, and are therefore, potentially at risk.
For the benefit of the upcoming generations, urgent attention needs to be focused on this substantial public health problem.