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Fluoride is promoted above good nutrition as a 'therapeutic' chemical necessary to prevent cavities, but it lowers IQ, calcifies the pineal gland and harms fertility, among a wide range of other adverse health effects.
There is no question remaining that fluoride lowers IQ, at least as far as high-quality epidemiological research published in peer-reviewed journals has shown.
Take the conclusion of this systematic review of the literature published in the journal Biological and Trace Elements Research in 2008, which looked at whether fluoride exposure has increased the risk of low intelligence quotient (IQ) in China over the past 20 years:
[C]hildren who live in a fluorosis area [high fluoride exposure] have five times higher odds of developing low IQ than those who live in a nonfluorosis area or a slight fluorosis area.
[See our IQ and Fluoride research page for seven first-hand study abstracts on this connection]
Arguably, those who do question this causal connection despite the research are already under fluoride's powerful spell, since they don't take sufficient care to reduce their exposure to this intellectually-disabling chemical. They've drank the fluoride-contaminated Kool-aid, and are unable to comprehend what is still obvious to those who have not.
But fluoride's toxicity is not specific to only one type of tissue, i.e. neurological, but extends throughout the human body, having been linked to at least 30 distinct health problems stretching from calcification of soft tissue and endocrine glands (such as the pineal) to hypothyroidism, from hair loss to cancer. [see Fluoride Toxicity citations here]
While lawmakers, regulators and the industry using it consider the public gullible enough to believe that the IQ-lowering effects of fluoride a worthwhile price to pay for 'healthy' and 'attractive' teeth (even though fluoride exposure leads to fluorosis, an irreversible spotting, often yellowing of the enamel of the teeth), a more serious health problem lurks beneath the propaganda that has converted an industrial byproduct and pollutant into a "therapeutic" water, salt and milk additive. That problem is fluoride's infertility and abortifacient properties.
Back in 1994, a study was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health that found exposure to high fluoride concentrations in drinking water is associated with decreased birth rates. The researchers had reviewed the biomedical literature for fluoride toxicity and found decreased fertility in most animal species studied. This lead them to question whether fluoride would also affect human birth rates. They reported their method and results as follows:
A U.S. database of drinking water systems was used to identify index counties with water systems reporting fluoride levels of at least 3 ppm. These and adjacent counties were grouped in 30 regions spread over 9 states. For each county, two conceptionally different exposure measures were defined, and the annual total fertility rate (TFR) for women in the age range 10-49 yr was calculated for the period 1970-1988. For each region separately, the annual TFR was regressed on the fluoride measure and sociodemographic covariables. Most regions showed an association of decreasing TFR with increasing fluoride levels. Meta-analysis of the region-specific results confirmed that the combined result was a negative TFR/fluoride association with a consensus combined p value of .0002-.0004, depending on the analytical scenario. There is no evidence that this outcome resulted from selection bias, inaccurate data, or improper analytical methods. However, the study is one that used population means rather than data on individual women. Whether or not the fluoride effect on the fertility rate found at the county level also applies to individual women remains to be investigated.
Another study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine in 1995 found that among fabrication workers fluoride compound exposure was associated with an increased risk of spontaneous abortion:
Risk of spontaneous abortion (SAB) was examined in relation to chemical and physical agents in a retrospective study of employees of 14 seminconductor manufacturers: After screening over 6,000 employees, 506 current and 385 former workers were eligible. If a woman had multiple eligible pregnancies, one was selected at random. Telephone interviews provided data on demographics and occupational and other exposures during the first trimester. Two groups of chemicals accounted for the 45% excess risk of SAB among fabrication-room (fab) workers: photoresist and developed solvents (PDS), including glycol ethers, and fluoride compounds used in etching. Women exposed to high levels of both these agents were at greater risk (RR = 3.21, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.29-5.96). In fab workers without these exposures, SAB rates were not elevated (adjusted relative risk [RR] = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.55-1.69). An association was seen with workplace stress, which was not limited to women exposed to PDS or fluoride, nor did stress explain the associations between these chemicals and SAB.