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Fluoridated Water and Premature Birth



A well-designed New York State public-heath study found that:

"Domestic water fluoridation was independently
associated with an increased risk of PTB [preterm birth]."


Relationship between municipal water fluoridation and preterm birth in Upstate New York

After these results were presented at the American Public Health Association Meeting & Expo about "Water and Public Health," this study was never published – nor was any follow-up research done – despite the fact that 2 years earlier, the Institute of Medicine reported:

"Those born preterm have an appreciable risk
of long-term neurological impairment and developmental delay."

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on
Understanding Premature Birth and Assuring Healthy Outcomes

Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences, and Prevention (2007)

Neurodevelopmental, Health, and Family Outcomes for Infants Born Preterm
"Many studies have documented the prevalence of a broad range of neurodevelopmental impairments in preterm survivors. The spectrum of neurodevelopmental disabilities includes cerebral palsy, mental retardation, visual and hearing impairments, and more subtle disorders of central nervous system function. These dysfunctions include language disorders, learning disabilities, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, minor neuromotor dysfunction or developmental coordination disorders, behavioral problems, and social-emotional difficulties. Preterm infants are more likely to have lower intelligence quotients and academic achievement scores, experience greater difficulties at school, and require significantly more educational assistance than children who were born at term." (Chapter 11)

Prematurity at Birth: Determinants, Consequences, and Geographic Variation
"Those born preterm have an appreciable risk of long-term neurological impairment and developmental delay..." Because of the continuing problem that premature birth poses in the United States, "Policy makers and the public need to be kept informed of the rapid developments in research and their implications for clinical practice and public programs and policies... that would increase knowledge and awareness of evolving strategies for the prevention of preterm birth." (Appendix B)

After the New York State public-health study, a logical next step would have been to look at available data for ecological associations elsewhere in the US. According to CDC data for 2010, in the 25 least fluoridated states (average fluoridation rate = 52%), the preterm birth rate averaged 116 per 1,000 births. In the 25 most fluoridated states (average fluoridation rate = 90%), the preterm birth rate averaged 5% higher: 122 per 1,000 births.

If that difference of six births per 1,000 were extrapolated to the United States, where four million births occurred in 2010 (when 66% of the population was fluoridated), then higher levels of water fluoridation would be associated that year with about 16,000 more preterm births – each one with an annual societal economic burden of more than $50,000.

From pages 15-16 of Pregnancy and Fluoride Do Not Mix:
Water Fluoridation and Preterm Birth Rates

The CDC has not kept the public informed about fetal fluoride exposure and water fluoridation's association with premature birth. Its Preterm Birth page* no longer mentions "long-term neurological disabilities" as it previously did:

Screen shot from March 2013

Willful Suppression of Data by the CDC

By not providing this crucial information affecting fetuses – our most vulnerable subpopulation whose health has the most consequential lifelong repercussions – the CDC is guilty of "Scientific Misconduct," something the agency itself claims to prohibit:

"Deceptive selective reporting of findings and omission of conflicting data, or willful suppression and/or distortion of data."

The words pregnancy, fetus, fetal are not even mentioned in any of the seven pages cited in the CDC's main fluoridation page, Water Fluoridation Guidelines & Recommendations (reviewed and updated in 2017).

*The CDC's current Preterm Birth page notes the association with Infant Deaths,
but not the association between fluoridated water and infant deaths.

An international problem: New Zealand's Chief Science Advisor
demonstrates a blatant suppression of data about fluoridated amniotic fluid.