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LISTEN: EHN editor discusses three important new studies on fluoride and public health

EHN editor Brian Bienkowski joins the weekly program Living on Earth to talk water fluoridation

EHN editor Brian Bienkowski joined Living on Earth's Steve Curwood to talk about three new studies released last month linking fluoride exposure to ADHD in children and thyroid problems in adults.


"It's an interesting debate because there are two points of public health pitted against one another," Bienkowski said. "You have healthier teeth because of this, but also some of these links are concerning. And I think the concern for many health researchers is that we are putting this in our water and we're not sure exactly what each person's exposure is."

Bienkowski reported on the the studies last month and the story was one of EHN.org's most viewed.

One study, from Canada, found that adults who are iodine deficient and have higher levels of fluoride in their system have a greater risk of an underactive thyroid. A second study, from Mexico, found mothers with higher fluoride exposure during pregnancy were more likely to have children with symptoms of ADHD. Both studies were published in the journal Environmental International.

A third study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that among 1,566 pregnant women in Canada, fluoride levels in urine were almost two times higher for women who lived in regions where the element was added to their drinking water compared to pregnant women in regions with non-fluoridated water.

"The disagreement is whether it's being put in our water at levels that's indeed doing that," Bienkowski said. "So, I think that the best way to go forward here is to follow the science and have policymakers follow through on actually using the best available science."

You can listen to the entire segment with Bienkowski above.

Living on Earth is a weekly environmental news and information program distributed by Public Radio International. EHN's Weekend Editor Peter Dykstra joins the program most weeks to discuss the top environmental headlines.

You can listen to his segment from last week below.

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