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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy Lowers IQ in Children

  A federal investigation of water fluoridation in 2016 created conflict between the American Fluoridation Society (AFS), which supports the long-controversial practice of adding fluoride chemicals to drinking water for the purpose of preventing cavities, and the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), which seeks to broaden awareness among citizens, scientists and policymakers regarding the toxicity of fluoride compounds. Due to the results from a new U.S. government-funded study of fluoride exposure during fetal development, there is likely to be a resurgence of resistance and conflict.

New Study Results

This is the second U.S. government-funded study linking low-levels of fluoride exposure during fetal development to cognitive impairment. The observational study, “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada”, was led by a team at York University in Ontario, Canada. The study, funded by the Canadian government and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Science, looked at 512 mother-child pairs from six major Canadian cities. 

Fluoride Exposure in the womb impacts IQ

According to, researchers involved in the observational study “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada”, assessed fluoride exposure, finding that a one milligram per liter increase in concentration of fluoride in mothers’ urine was associated with a deficit in intelligent quotient (IQ) among boys and girls. Study results confirm previous findings by Bashash et al. in 2017 and Thomas et al. in 2018—low levels of fluoride during fetal development will cause cognitive impairment. 

Challenging study results and the AFS

Individuals and studies challenging the practice of fluoridation are zealously attacked by AFS, especially research produced by fluoridation expert Paul Connett, Ph.D., the director of FAN, who spent 23 years researching the issues of fluoride’s toxicity and the water fluoridation debate as a professor of chemistry specializing in environmental chemistry and toxicology. In 2010, his research efforts culminated in publication of The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There

Connett traveled to Naples in 2016 to testify at a Collier County Commissioner’s meeting where local residents gathered to call for halting the fluoridation of municipal water. He agrees with the findings in the Canadian study published in August in JAMA Pediatrics, an international peer-reviewed pediatric journal published monthly by the American Medical Association (AMA) which, due to the potential implications, has subjected the study to additional scrutiny for its methods and the presentation of its findings. “Publishing it shows that JAMA Pediatrics cares about the science regardless of how contentious the results may be,” says Mark Corke DDS, owner of Laser Dentistry in Fort Myers.

“It’s been two months since publication and there’s been no call to action by our children’s caretakers for temporarily discontinuing water fluoridation until duplicate studies are run and a permanent decision made on findings. Immediately after JAMA Pediatrics published the study, I received a statement from The American Dental Association (ADA) not to rush to judgment. The ADA and American Academy of Pediatrics are recommending that drinking water consumption shouldn’t change on the basis of this study. I’m amazed that a child’s brain isn’t considered more important than their teeth,” explains Corke.

Water fluoridation, proposed in the 1940’s indicated that ingestion was necessary so that fluoride could naturally incorporate into developing teeth, making them decay resistant. New studies prove that fluoride’s effect is only topical; that any fluoride incorporated during tooth development isn’t enough to provide decay protection. 

“The American Dental Association and the Center for Disease Control want water fluoridation to continue although the majority of our population has access to fluoridated toothpaste. These organizations believe that impoverished individuals should drink fluoridated water for a topical effect. In my opinion money would be better spent on toothpaste dental care, and treatment than on fluoridation equipment plants and fluorosilicic acid, mostly imported from China,” advises Corke. “Fluoridated water is not pharmaceutical grade quality and contains elevated levels of arsenic, which pollute water. It’s very difficult and expensive to remove from drinking water. A simple Britta water filter will not work for pregnant women.”


Other important issues to mothers

Corke practices family dentistry. He cites other issues that women should be more informed about—lip tie and tongue tie. “These conditions, which I believe newborns should be checked for by a knowledgeable dentist, can make breastfeeding difficult for babies and can cause early tooth decay. Both can easily be corrected in my office if they are caught early,” explains Corke, who is concerned about mainstream media’s lack of coverage on the latest fluoridation study results. “Mothers should be made aware of the significant implication it has in regard to the IQ of their children.” 


Additional information on “Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada” is available by listening to JAMA Pediatrics Editors' Summary by Dimitri Christakis, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief, and Frederick Rivara, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief of JAMA Network Open, for the August 19, 2019 issue (

Laser Dentistry is located at 1550 Matthew Dr., in Fort Myers. For more information, call 239-936-5442 or visit

by Linda Sechrist

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