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ADEA on NAS Review of NTP Monograph on Fluoride

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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) says it has not been shown that fluoride is a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to people, as suggested by a draft report last fall. 

On Sept. 6, 2019, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences released a monograph, “Systematic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects.” The monograph states that “NTP concludes that fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.” In November, NAS was asked to review the NTP monograph to determine if NTP satisfactorily supports its conclusion.

On March 5, NAS released its “Review of the Draft NTP Monograph: Systemic Review of Fluoride Exposure and Neurodevelopmental and Cognitive Health Effects (2020).” The NAS review states “the committee does not find that NTP has adequately supported its conclusion.” The committee went on to recommend “further analysis or reanalysis as noted in the present report is needed to support conclusions in the monograph.”

ADEA strongly supports optimal fluoridation of community water. Touted as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, various Surgeons General have supported community water fluoridation over the past several decades. Moreover, the NTP monograph took no note of the public health benefits of fluoride.

Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., wrote in his 2001 Report on Oral Health, “community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, practical and safe means for reducing and controlling the occurrence of tooth decay in a community. In thousands of communities in the United States where naturally-occurring fluoride levels are deficient, small amounts of fluoride have been added to drinking water supplies with dramatic results. More than 50 years of scientific research has found that people living in communities with fluoridated water have healthier teeth and fewer cavities than those living where the water is not fluoridated.”

ADEA will continue to monitor this issue and provide updated information if warranted.

Published on March 11, 2020

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