Flouride and Neurobehavioral Problems

Neurobehavioral problems such as autism, attention-deficit disorder, and dyslexia are on the rise in children in the US. Could fluoride ingestion be contributing to this?

Flouride has been added to the water in many cities and to toothpaste and mouthwash to reduce dental carries, but increasing evidence points to fouride as a potential neuro-toxin. Arguably, fluoride may be beneficial for bone and tooth enamel is small quantities, but in larger amounts it may be harmful. Some prominent neurologists, one of whom is a Harvard professor, have been studying the effects of environmental toxins on developing brains and developed a list of chemicals that contribute to neurobehavioral disorders that they published in Lancet Neurology in 2006. (1) This list includes lead, arsenic and mercury. In 2014, they added fluoride to this list.

Other research has found a link between fluoride exposure and lower IQ (intelligence) scores.(2) Those who live in an area where the water is flouridated have five times the risk of having a low IQ versus the people who live in areas where the water is not flouridated.

Flouride also has a potentially negative effect on thyroid function. Flouride competes with iodine for uptake into the thyroid and can lead to a functional iodine deficiency, which can result in hypothyroidism.(3) If you are concerned about this, Dr. Weitz can help you with a urine test to look at your iodine and fluoride levels.

In light of such health concerns, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the U.S. EPA announced a proposal to lower the recommended level of fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 mg/L from the currently recommended range of 0.7-1.2 mg/L. I would recommend avoiding drinking flouridated tap water and instead get a reverse osmosis purification system for your home. That is what I personally do and I also avoid fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash for myself and my family.


1. Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity. Lancet Neurol 2014 Mar 01;13(3)330-338.

2. Tang Q, Du J, Ma H, et al. Fluoride and children’s intelligence: a meta-analysis. Biol Trace Elem Res http://www.fairbanksalaska.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/20080718Fluoride-and-Childrens-Intelligence-China.pdf

3. Gas’kov A, Savchenkov MF, Lushkov NN.The specific features of the development of iodine deficiencies in children living under environmental pollution with fluorine compounds. Gig Sanit. 2005 Nov-Dec;(6):53-5.

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