New fluoride warning for infants.
The ADA sent an email alert sent to all of its members, noting that "Infants less than one year old may be getting more than the optimal amount of fluoride if their primary source of nutrition is powdered or liquid infant formula mixed with water containing fluoride." The ADA went on to advise: "If using a product that needs to be reconstituted, parents and caregivers should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride."
The ADA issued this advice because babies exposed to fluoridated water are at high risk for developing dental fluorosis--a defect of the teeth which can result in staining and even corrosion of the enamel. In addition, on October 14th, the Food and Drug Administration stated that fluoridated water marketed to infants cannot claim to reduce the risk of cavities.
Dental fluorosis is not the only risk stemming from a baby's exposure to fluoride. In the same week that the ADA issued its advisory, an article in The Lancet, reported that fluoride may damage a child's developing brain. The Lancet review described fluoride, along with the rocket fuel additive perchlorate, as an "emerging neurotoxic substance" due to evidence linking fluoride to lower IQs in children, and brain damage in animals.
While most of western Europe has abandoned the practice of adding fluoride to water, most US water supplies remain fluoridated. In addition, some brands of bottled water sold in the US, such as Nursery Water, specifically market fluoridated water for young babies.
A recent investigation by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that over-exposure to fluoride among infants is a widespread problem in most major American cities. EWG's study found that, on any given day, up to 60% of formula-fed babies in US cities were exceeding the Institute of Medicine's "upper tolerable" limit for fluoride.
"Water is supposed to be safe for everyone. Why add a chemical that makes it knowingly unfit for young children? The US should follow Europe's lead and end fluoridation," says Michael Connett, Project Director of the Fluoride Action Network.
For additional information visit: www.fluoridealert.org and www.ewg.org