Controversial Fluoride Claims Are Especially Concerning for Kids

glass of waterFrom bacteria or heavy metals in our food when we're pregnant to bisphenol-A (BPA) and other hormone disruptors in baby bottles, moms may feel like they're constantly ducking and hiding from worrisome toxins. Now, there's controversial new buzz about fluoride that may perk up some parents' ears.

A retired chemistry professor named Paul Connett, co-author of the book The Case Against Fluoride, is speaking out about eliminating fluoride from municipal water supplies. He recently published a list of reasons why he believes water fluoridation must be stopped ...


According to Connett, while the level of fluoride in a mother's milk is exceedingly low, formula-fed infants receive up to 175 to 250 more fluoride than a breastfed infant. He also points out that for bigger kids, the concern comes in the form of dental fluorosis, or discoloration and mottling of the teeth that occurs as a result of overexposure to fluoride, which 41 percent of American kids aged 12 to 15 have in some form or another, according to the CDC.

Most jaw-dropping, though: Connett states that there are three human studies that link fluoride exposure to impaired fetal brain development and 100 animal studies linking it to brain damage. Obviously, these are unnerving assertions for any mom to hear.

More from The Stir: It's Official: Fluoride Makes Your Kid Dumb

This isn't the first time that the potential downstream negative effects of fluoride have made headlines. Back in 2008, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) asked the Federal Trade Commission to stop Nursery Water -- a bottled water for infants -- from advertising that its fluoridated water is safe for babies, in violation of FDA rules and American Academy of Pediatrics guidance. And in 2011, the EWG won a victory by getting the Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency to propose a change to the amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water due to the rising rates of fluorosis in kids.

In other words, though it looks like progress is being made, fluoridation remains a complicated, controversial topic. And Connett's points only serve to raise certain burning questions about fluoride all over again for moms. He seems to make an even stronger case for moms to be concerned if they're formula-feeding and may be reason to steer clear of fluoridated toothpastes and mouthwashes for our kids. Because when it comes to both of those things, the ball is in our court. But as for fluoride in our city's water? That's obviously still a hot topic of debate that parents may very well be stirred to get into, given the possible dangers for kids.

How do you feel about fluoridated water? Do you try to steer clear of it in the products you buy for your kids?


Image via Gunnar Grimnes/Flickr

Read More >