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Fluoride lowers IQ in kids, new study shows.

A review of some two dozen studies by Harvard University researchers published last month in a peer-reviewed federal journal suggests that fluoride added to water supplies "significantly" decreases the IQ of children, leading to renewed calls by activists to end the controversial practice of fluoridation. Most public water supplies in the United States still have the chemical added in by authorities under the guise of preventing tooth decay.

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"The children in high fluoride areas had significantly lower IQs than those who lived in low fluoride areas," noted the Harvard research scientists about the results of their study, echoing claims by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that there is substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity associated with the chemical. "The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children's neurodevelopment."

The researchers also expressed concerns about the potential of fluoride to cause irreversible brain damage in unborn children. "Fluoride readily crosses the placenta," they observed. "Fluoride exposure to the developing brain, which is much more susceptible to injury caused by toxicants than is the mature brain, may possibly lead to damage of a permanent nature."

The study, which was published on July 20 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, also called for further studies on the issue.

"Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain," noted senior study author Philippe Grand jean, a professor of environmental health at Harvard. "The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us."

Alleged dental benefits aside, other critics of water fluoridation oppose the controversial practice in principle, pointing out that, instead of being used to purify the water supply, it is instead used to treat people and amounts to the mass medication of populations without lawfully required individual consent. Some experts even challenge the supposed usefulness of fluoride in preventing cavities.

As evidence about the dangers of fluoridation continues to build, however, communities across America have been debating whether or not to stop medicating people through the water supply. But as analysts have noted, officials and much of the mainstream medical establishment have tended to ignore the growing amount of research exposing the toxicity of fluoride.
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Title Annotation:INSIDE TRACK
Publication:The New American
Date:Aug 20, 2012
Words:400
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