Now, a report from the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, has officially classified fluoride as a neurotoxin — in the same category as arsenic, lead and mercury.
The news was broken by author Stefan Smyle, who cited a report published in The Lancet Neurology, Volume 13, Issue 3, in the March 2014 edition, by authors Dr. Phillippe Grandjean and Philip J. Landrigan, MD. The report, which was officially released in 2014 and published in the journal, can be viewed by clicking here.
As noted in the summary of the report, a systematic review identified five different similar industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.
The summary goes on to state that six additional developmental neurotoxicants have also now been identified: manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers. The authors added that even more of these neurotoxicants remain undiscovered.
Also in the report, they note that neurodevelopmental disabilities, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments, are now affecting millions of children worldwide in what they call a “pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity.”
Because of the documented health risks of fluoride, many people have launched campaigns to remove the chemical from their water supplies, to varying degrees of success.
Such initiatives usually begin through the are often controversial and emotionally charged because of the reputation fluoride still enjoys among mainstream dentistry practitioners.
In addition to fluoride in city water supplies, the substance can also be found in certain foods, especially in heavily processed brands of tea that may be grown in polluted areas (see this list for more info).
If you’ve ever noticed the warnings on toothpaste labels you probably know just how serious fluoride poisoning can be, especially for children if they swallow too much at one time.
Because of this threat, many parents have begun eschewing fluoridated toothpaste brands altogether and are using more natural brands such as Earthpaste, Desert Essence, Uncle Harry’s Toothpaste Dr. Bronner’s toothpaste line, or even making their own from a combination of ingredients such as coconut oil, organic neem leaf powders, essential oils like peppermint or cinnamon, and other natural ingredients.
The fluoride added to our water supply is mostly seen as a cumulative toxin that accumulates in our bodies and can manifest itself in problems over time, including dental fluorosis, or far worse health problems.
Global Fluoride Prevention Strategy Recommended
In the Lancet report, the authors propose a global prevention strategy, saying that “untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity.”
They continue: “To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”
The report coincides with 2013 findings by a Harvard University meta-analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health that concluded that children in areas with highly fluoridated water have “significantly lower” IQ scores that those who live in areas with low amounts of fluoride in their water supplies.
Sodium fluoride in drinking water has also been linked to various cancers. It is functionally different than the naturally-occurring calcium fluoride, and commonly added to drinking water supplies and used by dentists who posit that it is useful for dental health.
Fluoridation is Actually Uncommon in Europe
Currently, fluoride is added to water supplies across much of North America, but as this list of countries that ban or reject water fluoridation shows, the practice is actually not too common, or banned entirely throughout most of Europe and in several other developed nations across the world.
Since most places in America still add fluoride to the water a high quality water filter is recommend to filter out the fluoride, and it can be especially important to avoid exposing yourself to too much fluoride in your daily shower or bath.