A new study from Australia strengthens confidence in the safety of water fluoridation with regard to the cognitive development of children. The study found no link between greater exposure to fluoridated water and lower scores on key measures of emotional and behavioral development.
Drawing from data on more than 2,600 children, this study compared people’s lifetime exposure to fluoridated water (LEFW) from birth to age 5 to assessments of children’s emotional and behavioral development. The authors reported that those with lower LEFW “tended to have poorer scores” in emotional and behavioral development. An equivalence test revealed that there was no difference between the development scores of those who had 100% LEFW and those with 0% LEFW.
A Canadian research team has reported an association between fluoride exposure and cognitive deficits in children. However, studies conducted in New Zealand, Spain and Sweden found no such link. The Australian study provides us with additional perspective. A research team at East Carolina University has requested access to the Canadian data to conduct a reanalysis, but the data administrators have refused.