Every now and then you hear some inkling that everything you thought you knew about fluoride in drinking water is wrong. And then some reassuring voice of authority reminds you of all of fluoride’s benefits. But I’m reading this account of how sample communities in rural China living with and without fluoride end up with differing IQ levels.
The study, published in the May 2003 journal Fluoride, found that as fluoride levels in drinking water increased, IQs fell and the incidence of mental retardation and borderline intelligence increased.
What’s more, according to the article, fluoride doesn’t even have the dental benefits it purports to have, especially not when ingested rather than applied topically to the teeth. In fact, it may have harmful non-dental, non-mental health effects as well.
So why is fluoride on track to be even more widely deployed in our water supplies over the next ten years? Conspiracy theorists, start your engines.
Update: Tons of great info at the Fluoride Action Network.