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From the Townsend Letter
April 2016

Prenatal Fluoride and Autism
by John D. MacArthur
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Lack of Fluoride-Pregnancy Research
As the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child points out, "There is no credible way to determine a safe level of exposure to a potentially toxic substance without explicit research that differentiates its impact on adults from the greater likelihood of its adverse influences on the developing brain during pregnancy and early childhood."59
"Overall, the available studies of fluoride effects on human development are few and have some significant shortcomings," concluded the National Research Council in 2006. "To determine the possible adverse effects of fluoride, additional data from both the experimental and the clinical sciences are needed."110
A decade later, explicit research into fluoride's ability to interfere with fetal brain development has yet to be done, despite the reality that US fetuses are routinely overexposed to the developmental neurotoxicant fluoride and that autism is becoming epidemic. A PubMed title search for "autism" shows that 2190 scientific papers were published in 2015. For "fluoride," 627 were published that year. A title search for "autism and fluoride" shows that no studies have ever been published.
In the Saarland University study discussed above, when Loskill et al. (2013) exposed artificial teeth to a solution of 1000 mg/l fluoride ion (the concentration in toothpaste) for 5 minutes, all bacteria species tested exhibited lower adhesion forces by a factor of 2. Since then, no further research into fluoride and adhesion forces has been published, even though much attention has recently been given to the gut–brain connection. It is not known how lower concentrations and longer durations of fluoride exposure affect bacterial adhesion forces and health in the developing GI tract. Note: when pregnant women used a daily mouth rinse that contained 225 mg/l of fluoride ion, colonization of their infants by cariogenic bacteria was delayed by 4 months.111

Pregnancy and Fluoride Do Not Mix
Fluoride's role in the growing pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity requires urgent and thorough investigation. We cannot afford further delay, because it may turn out that, as with lead and alcohol, no amount of fluoride should be considered safe during pregnancy.
The good news is that on November 19, 2015, the US National Toxicology Program announced plans to conduct new laboratory studies to evaluate the effects of fluoridated water on "developmental neurobehavioral toxicity."112 The bad news is that this could take many years.
In the meantime, based on the government's own research and recommendations discussed in this report, women who are pregnant (or intend to be) should avoid consumption of fluoride in tap water, bottled water, and supplements – especially if they have dental fluorosis, the visible evidence of their genetic susceptibility to fluoride's toxicity. Also avoid beverages made in fluoridated cities, as well as exposure to fluoride from dental products and procedures.
When a pregnant woman consumes fluoride, so does her baby. Why take the risk? Not ingesting fluoride has no downside for the fetus; however, its consumption may increase the risk of neurological deficits.
A worthy community endeavor would be to ensure that families and health organizations are aware of this pregnancy warning for fluoride.

For centuries, humankind considered the womb environment sacred, free of violence and trespass. In that prenatal environment, with unbelievable precision, cells replicate, move about, and form buds and limbs and brains and sensory and reproductive organs, contributing to the most miraculous phenomenon on earth. ... Unfortunately, when development is violated in the womb ... the social and economic impacts are incalculable.
– Theo Colborn, author of Our Stolen Future

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3.      Breaker RR. New insight on the response of bacteria to fluoride. Caries Res. 2012;46(1):78–81.
4.      Loskill P, Zeitz C, Grandthyll S, et al. Reduced adhesion of oral bacteria on hydroxyapatite by fluoride treatment. Langmuir. 2013 May 7;29(18):5528–5533.
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