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Pregnant women who drink fluoride-treated water may give birth to children with lower IQs, a new study suggests.
Researchers from York University in Toronto, Canada, found that the more fluoride that was present in a mother's urine, the lower her child's IQ score was.
Boys - Scores - Mother - Fluoride - Levels
Surprisingly, boys seemed to have much lower scores when their mother's had high fluoride levels than girls did.
About two-thirds of Americans and one-third of Canadians drink fluoridated water from community water systems that add the mineral to prevent tooth decay.
Study - Questions - Effects - Fluoride - Children
While the study raised questions about the possible negative neurological effects of fluoride on young children, some scientists are skeptical about the findings.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, rocks and water.
Toothpastes - Mouthwashes - Drinking - Water - Studies
It's added to toothpastes, mouthwashes and drinking water because studies have shown water with optimal fluoride levels can lower the prevalence of tooth decay.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water fluoridation can reduce the amount of decay in children's teeth by up to 60 percent.
Experts - Fluoride - Concentrations
However, experts say fluoride can be dangerous in high concentrations.
It can cause dental fluorosis, which is when faint white streaks appear on the teeth when younger children consume too much fluoride.
Levels - Chemical - Fluorosis
Excess levels of the chemical can also cause skeletal fluorosis.
As the bones become hardened and less elastic, the risk of pain and fractures increases and can eventual lead to loss of mobility.
Health - Officials - Concerns
But health officials say these aren't their only concerns.
A 2012 analysis led by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health looked at studies in which children had been exposed to high fluoride content in water.
The researchers found...
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