Phillipe Grandjean, Adjunct Professor, Harvard Chan School of Public Health

Human Health Impact of Fluoride in drinking water is not fully understood, Further Studies Needed, Concludes Harvard Professor

Harvard asks: Do we need to add it to drinking water so it gets into the bloodstream and potentially into the brain?

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According to an article published in the Spring 2016 Edition of the Harvard Public Health Magazine, “Fluoride is beneficial in decreasing tooth decay, but is dangerous at high levels. Excessive fluoride causes fluorosis—changes in tooth enamel that range from barely noticeable white spots to staining and pitting. Fluoride can also become concentrated in bone—stimulating bone cell growth, altering the tissue’s structure, and weakening the skeleton.” (Harvard, 2016)

“In June 2015, the Cochrane Collaboration—a global independent network of researchers and health care professionals known for rigorous scientific reviews of public health policies—published an analysis of 20 key studies on water fluoridation… The Cochrane report also concluded that early scientific investigations on water fluoridation (most were conducted before 1975) were deeply flawed. “We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in … 97 percent of the studies,” the authors noted.” (Harvard, 2016)

Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health had this to say:

We need to make sure fluoridation doesn’t raise the risk of adverse health effects. In particular, we need basic research on animals that would help us understand the mechanisms by which fluoride may be toxic to the developing brain…We need to find out if there are populations highly vulnerable to fluoride in drinking water—bottle-fed infants whose formula is made with tap water, for example, or patients undergoing dialysis.” (Harvard, 2016)

Is Fluoridated Drinking Water Safe?