Decreased intelligence in children and exposure to fluoride and arsenic in drinking water.
Cad Saude Publica. 2007;23 Suppl 4:S579-87. PMID: 18038039
Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, México.
Recent evidence suggests that fluoride (F) and arsenic (As) may adversely affect intelligence quotient (IQ) scores. We explore the association between exposure to F and As in drinking water and intelligence in children. Three rural communities in Mexico with contrasting levels of F and As in drinking water were studied: Moctezuma (F 0.8+/-1.4 mg/L; As 5.8+/-1.3 microg/L); Salitral (F 5.3+/-0.9 mg/L; As 169+/-0.9 microg/L) and 5 de Febrero (F 9.4+/-0.9 mg/L; As 194+/-1.3 microg/L). The final study sample consisted of 132 children from 6 to 10 years old. After controlling for confounders, an inverse association was observed between F in urine and Performance, Verbal, and Full IQ scores (beta values = -13, -15.6, -16.9, respectively). Similar results were observed for F in drinking water (beta values = -6.7, -11.2, -10.2, respectively) and As in drinking water (beta values= -4.30, -6.40, -6.15, respectively). The p-values for all cases were<0.001. A significant association was observed between As in urine and Full IQ scores (beta = -5.72, p = 0.003). These data suggest that children exposed to either F or As have increased risks of reduced IQ scores.