Public Health Officials Tried To Block This Information
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) on Wednesday released a draft report linking prenatal and childhood fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children, after public health officials tried for almost a year to block its publication.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initially blocked the NTP from releasing the report, according to emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
But a court order stemming from a lawsuit filed by Food and Water Watch against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) forced the report’s release this week.
The NTP, an interagency program run by HHS that researches and reports on environmental toxins, conducted a six-year systematic review to assess scientific studies on fluoride exposure and potential neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects in humans.
The report, containing a monograph and a meta-analysis, went through two rounds of peer review by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Comments from reviewers and HHS and NTP’s responses also were included in the report released Wednesday.
According to its website, the NTP “removed the hazardous classification of fluoride” in response to comments in the peer-review process. Yet, the report states:
- “The data support a consistent inverse association between fluoride exposure and children’s IQ …
- “The results were robust to stratifications by risk of bias, gender, age group, outcome assessment, study location, exposure timing, and exposure type (including both drinking water and urinary fluoride).”
The controversial report will play a key role in determining the outcome of a lawsuit brought in 2017 by several nonprofits against the EPA to end fluoridation.
Groups like the American Dental Association publicly pressured the NTP to “exclude any neurotoxin claims” from the reports.
According to the report, 8 of the 9 “high-quality studies examining cognitive or neurodevelopmental outcomes reported associations with fluoride exposure.”
Of the 19 high-quality studies assessing the association between fluoride and IQ in children, 18 reported an association between higher fluoride exposure and lower IQ in children. Forty-six of the 53 low-quality studies also found evidence of that association.
The next hearing date is scheduled for April 11, 2023. At that time, the judge will set a date for the next phase of the trial.