New research shows there is a strong connection between increased levels of fluoride in drinking water and the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the United States.
The study titled Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association study published earlier this year in the journal Environmental Health discovered that a one per cent increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was linked to roughly 67,000 to 131,000 extra ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. The research went back to fluoridation in 1992, emphasizing the harmful effects which exist some two decades later.
The team of researchers analysed information from the U.S. National Survey of Children’s Health related to children aged between four gathered over several years. A couple of months after the study was released the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced they would reduce the amount of fluoride in drinking water; the recommended range is currently of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.
According to the study, U.S. states with a higher portion of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD. The link held up across six years examined. One of the study’s authors, Ashley Malin of York University, Toronto with expertise in Clinical Psychology emphasized the importance of wealth in this equation. “Wealth is important to take into account because the poor are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD,” Newsweek cited Malin as saying.
Multiple studies have indicated that children with moderate and severe fluorosis score lower on measure of IQ and cognitive skills. A 2010 report by the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 41 per cent of American youths aged between 12 and 15 had some form of fluorosis. There have been roughly 40 studies showing that children born in regions where water has elevated levels of fluoride have lower-than-normal IQs.
A recent small study of fewer than 1,000 people in New Zealand concluded that water fluoridation did not decrease IQ. However, only a small percentage of the people involved in the research actually lived their entire lives in areas without fluoridation and even less did not use fluoride toothpaste, which may have limited the validity and relevance of the findings.
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