In response to a new medical study indicating that fluoride consumed by expecting mothers may lower their children’s IQ, Senator Michael Doherty warned of the dangers of exposing pregnant women to fluoride, which is often found in drinking water.
Pediatrician Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH, who is the editor-in-chief of JAMA Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed medical journal that published the study, was shocked and hesitant to release his findings, fearing public backlash. But he has stated that the impact of prenatal fluoride exposure is comparable to the impact of lead.
“Everyone, especially pregnant mothers, should have the right to clean, healthy water,” said Doherty (R-Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset). “This medical research indicates that the future intelligence of unborn children is at risk if a pregnant women consume fluoride commonly found in drinking water. Similar to avoiding sushi and alcohol, we should caution mothers-to-be to limit their fluoride exposure to promote the health and well-being of their developing child.”
Senator Doherty has been a longtime opponent of adding fluoride to public drinking water. He fought a failed push in 2012 that would have mandated water fluoridation in all public community water systems statewide. The New Jersey Environmental Federation similarly opposed the legislation, asserting that consuming large amounts of fluoride could have harmful health effects.
In the newly released study, researchers examined 601 mother-child pairs recruited from six major cities across Canada. Their findings concluded that “maternal exposure to higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged 3 to 4 years.”
“This study should give us pause,” added Doherty. “If prenatal fluoride exposure causes low IQ, we should be sounding the alarms and alerting expectant mother to steer clear of fluoridated water. I will continue to oppose any and all efforts to fluoridate New Jersey’s public drinking water to ensure the safety of our residents.”