A latest study links exposure to fluoridated tap water during pregnancy to lower IQ scores in infants, but several outside experts expressed concern over its methodology and questioned its findings.
Fluoride has been added to community water supplies in industrial countries to prevent tooth decay since the 1950s.
Very high levels of the mineral have been found to be toxic to the brain, though the concentrations seen in fluoridated tap water are generally deemed safe.
“We realized that there were major questions about the safety of fluoride, especially for pregnant women and young children,” Christine Till at Canada’s York University, senior author of the paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, told media.
“We know that decisions need to be based on evidence, and we had no evidence on whether fluoride in pregnancy was safe, and regardless of the outcome, that knowledge was really critical.”
The study looked at 601 mother-child pairs across six Canadian cities, with 41 percent living in communities supplied with fluoridated municipal water.
The researchers said fluoridated water is supplied to around two-thirds of US residents, just over a third of Canadian residents and three percent in Europe.
Courtesy: Daily Sabah