Benefits of Water FluoridationThe majority of American communities benefit from water that is adjusted to the proper level of fluoride.
Is Fluoride Effective?Fluoridating water is a crucial way of protecting children, even with the widespread use of fluoride toothpaste and fluoride treatments from dentists.
What does research show about fluoridation?Research shows that water fluoridation continues to play an important role in reducing tooth decay in children and giving them a healthy start in life
Statement by AFS President Dr. Johnny Johnson Regarding the Recently Released Study of Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes
September 23, 2017
The newly released Mexican study adds to the scientific knowledge that we have on fluoride from other countries. However, to draw direct comparisons with community water fluoridation is ill-advised and cannot be immediately done with any degree of certainty. The study of pregnant Mexican women and the IQ of their children had several key uncontrolled confounders which the authors clearly note could have affected urinary fluoride concentration. These include the lack of information about iodine in salt, lack of data on fluoride content in water, diet, and the lack of information on other environmental neurotoxicants such as arsenic.
According to Dr. Martinez-Mier, one of the study’s coauthors:
“There have been very few studies to date derived from population-based samples that measured prenatal fluoride levels among women. The amount of fluoride exposure in women in this study resulted in an average level in urine of 0.90 mg/L, which is somewhat higher than, but within the general range of, urinary fluoride levels seen in the general populations of healthy, non-pregnant women in Canada and the U.S. However, we don’t know much about how pregnancy may influence urinary fluoride levels, so making a comparison of those values to our study’s results is very difficult.”
In addition, it must be remembered that this is but one study. Any conclusions must be taken in comparison with other quality studies which have concluded there to be no adverse neurotoxic effects from optimally fluoridated water. For example, the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) published a study in 2015 that is much more analogous to the United States. This study was conducted in New Zealand, which (like the U.S.) has an abundance of local water fluoridation programs and a well- developed public health infrastructure. In the AJPH study, researchers tested the IQs and other cognitive skills of children in two cohorts — one in fluoridated areas, and the other cohort in non-fluoridated areas. Tests were performed every two years, starting at age 5 and concluding at age 13. Participants were also tested at age 38. The AJPH study found no link whatsoever between fluoridation and intelligence. This study is but one of several in recent years which has concluded fluoridated water to not be associated with neurological detriment.
Senior study author Howard Hu was quoted in a recent CNN report:
“What the new research means for pregnant women in the United States is up in the air. (Coauthor Howard) Hu cautioned that this was just one study. ‘It needs to be reproduced in other populations by other scientists,’ he said
We welcome additional quality research in this area to increase understanding. Based on the research we now have, we see no compelling reason to believe women in the U.S. should fear or avoid fluoridated water or fluoridated toothpaste. Neither does the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Two days after the Mexican study was released, ACOG posted a message on Twitter reaffirming its support for guidelines recommending fluoridated water and fluoridated toothpaste for pregnant women.
About Fluoridation and the AFS
Fluoride exists in water naturally. The public health initiative of water fluoridation is simply the adjustment of that fluoride to the level at which maximum dental decay benefit will be obtained with no adverse effects.
Here you will find evidence based information on fluoride and all aspects of water fluoridation including: water fluoridation and infant formula, support for water fluoridation, cost and cost effectiveness of water fluoridation, water fluoridation and the environment, the dental benefits of water fluoridation, the effects on general health, dental health, health inequalities, and dental fluorosis.
For Further Information on the aims of the society, and our main activities please visit the About Us section.
The American Fluoridation Society was founded in 2014 by a group of concerned professionals anxious to see all residents of the United States served by community water systems enjoy the benefits of community water fluoridation (CWF). Equally important to this society is to prevent rollback attempts by opponents of CWF, as well as to initiate CWF where it has not been previously available.
EPA Denies Latest Petition from Fluoridation Opponents
Steven D. Slott, DDS
American Fluoridation Society
Feb 22, 2017…Pursuant to its 90 day requirement to respond to consumer petitions, the EPA today formally denied a petition filed by fluoridation opponents in November, 2016. The petition submitted on behalf of the activist groups Fluoride Action Network, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, Mom’s Against Fluoridation, and various individuals, sought to go around the Safe Water Drinking Act under which fluoride and other contents of drinking water are regulated by the EPA, and appeal instead for a ruling under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The petition sought to “prohibit the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to U.S. water supplies.”, using as its central argument, a belief of neurotoxicity as the “risk” of fluoridated water. In addition to the written petition, the petitioners also provided an “in-person” oral argument to the EPA on January, 30, 2017.
As stated in an unofficial 40 page pre-publication response, the EPA cited its reason for denial as “primarily because EPA concluded that the petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S.” The document then went on to systematically explain the flaws and/or irrelevance of the human, animal, and cell studies cited by the petitioners as their support, the misrepresentations of findings of these studies by petitioners, and the lack of the substantive evidence required for such a petition to be favorably considered.
In discussing other claims of the petition, the EPA rebuffed the petitioners contention that fluoridation has no benefit, citing facts and figures of the incidence of dental decay in the U.S., and the devastating effects of untreated dental decay. It went on to provide a detailed explanation of the topical and systemic mechanism of dental decay prevention by fluoride and the health benefits of “having fewer cavities, less severe cavities, less need for fillings and removing teeth, and less pain and suffering due to tooth decay.”
The official EPA response may be viewed here.