In 1950, under pressure from the State Board of Health, the Oregon Village Board authorized the addition of fluoride to the water supply. This policy is both obsolete and dangerous. It’s time to end fluoridation.

A study published in the January 2020 edition of Environmental International reported that formula-fed infants living in fluoridated areas had significantly lower IQs. This adds to the August 2019 milestone research, funded by the National Institute of Health and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics. It found an association between high levels of fluoride exposure in pregnancy and lower IQ scores in kids age 3-4. Moreover, they found fluoride’s toxicity equal to lead in its ability to lower children’s IQ’s. The data were so strong that the editor of JAMA Pediatrics said he would not want his wife to drink fluoridated water if she was pregnant.

They’re just two of 64 human IQ studies, out of 72 total, that have linked fluoride ingestion to lower IQ’s in children. Based on these and other studies, in October 2019, the U.S. National Toxicology Program review concluded, “fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.” The report is still in draft form and under review, but the evidence is so compelling that the authors do not foresee their statement changing. Some scientists and pediatricians are now warning pregnant women to avoid fluoridated tap water.

Fluoridation advocates say that there’s still no absolute proof that fluoridation is harming children’s brains. But this is backwards thinking. The Precautionary Principle asks us to take preventive action in the face of uncertainty and shift the burden of proof to the proponents of fluoride water treatment. Better safe than sorry. We should explore alternatives to this risky program, engage the public, and increase their participation in making healthcare decisions.

Ingesting fluoride allows it to permeate the brain where it can cause harm. Adding it to municipal water is high risk for pregnant women and formula-fed infants. It’s time for Oregon to protect human health (and save money while doing it) by halting the water fluoridation program.

Kimberly Smith

Village of Oregon