Fluoride in Water Linked to ADHD

The fluoride debate seems like one that's never going to be entirely settled ... both pro- and anti-fluoride advocates have science and strong opinions on their side. But there's a new study out to consider if you're on the fence about fluoride: researchers from York University found a strong correlation between water fluoridation and ADHD in the United States.


So what does that mean? Well first of all, the scientists couldn't prove that fluoride necessarily causes ADHD, just that in states that had a lot of fluoride in their water, there were also more cases of ADHD diagnosed in children and teens.

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But the study, which started in 1992, held up against the test of time, and the correlation stuck around for each of the six years that they studied directly. For every year, the increase in the percentage of the population that was drinking fluoridated water correlated with an increase in cases of diagnosed ADHD. The results were also adjusted for the economic status of different states, because statistically, the poor are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

The percentage of Americans drinking fluoridated water was around 56 percent when the study started in 1992, but today that number is closer to 67 percent. And the percentage of diagnosed cases of ADHD has jumped from seven percent to 11 percent in that same time.

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Most scientists seem to agree that while this study is concerning, it's not conclusive enough to prove one way or another that fluoride is definitely bad for our brains. Instead, they want to see more studies done and then they'll reconsider the amount of fluoride in our drinking water.

Fluoride has been piped into water since World War II, but we're one of the few developed countries that still do it. And though people are starting to think that it could be connected to lower IQs and messed up hormones, the CDC and the American Dentistry Association still maintain that fluoride is safe and effective.

This study may not change that, but it certainly gives moms a lot to think about!

Do you worry about fluoride in drinking water? Do your kids get fluoride?


Image via Alliance/shutterstock

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