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https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/go/785076

Fluoride: Potential Developmental Neurotoxicity

Running water from faucet

Topic Overview

CASRN: 16984-48-8
Status: Topic under evaluation

Background Information

Fluoride is added to municipal water supplies and dental products, such as toothpaste, to prevent or reduce tooth decay. People are primarily exposed to fluoride from drinking water and use of fluoridated dental products, with water fluoridation representing 30% to 70% of a typical individual’s total exposure. Fluoride is also used in consumer products, such as cleaning supplies, and industrial applications. Workers in some occupations may be exposed to fluoride by inhaling fluoride compounds at their place of employment.

Systematic Reviews on Potential Health Effects of Fluoride

Completed Systematic Review

In 2016, NTP completed a systematic review of the published animal literature looking at neurobehavioral effects of exposure to fluoride during development and adulthood in rats and mice. The assessment found a low to moderate level of evidence that support adverse effects on learning and memory in animals exposed to fluoride in the diet or drinking water. The evidence was strongest in animals exposed as adults and weaker in animals exposed during development.

The animal studies typically evaluated developmental exposure to fluoride at levels higher than 0.7 parts per million, the recommended level for community water fluoridation in the United States. Additional research is underway to attempt to replicate these findings at water concentrations closer to the levels used in community water fluoridation.

Ongoing Systematic Review

NTP is currently conducting a systematic review to evaluate potential neurobehavioral effects from exposure to fluoride during development that includes consideration of human epidemiology, additional experimental animal studies, and mechanistic data.

Documents

Documents for Fluoride: Potential Developmental Neurotoxicity
Date Document
Oct 07, 2015 Federal Register notice requesting information on nominated substances (PDF HTML)
Nov 19, 2015 Proposed NTP Evaluation on Fluoride Concept
Dec 02, 2015 Presentation: NTP Evaluation of Fluoride Exposure and Potential for Developmental Neurobehavioral Effects
Jul 01, 2016 Completed Systematic Review
Preferred Citation: NTP (National Toxicology Program). 2016. Systematic Literature Review on the Effects of Fluoride on Learning and Memory in Animal Studies. NTP Research Report 1. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Toxicology Program.
Jul 01, 2017 Protocol for Ongoing Systematic Review
May 29, 2019 Revised Protocol for Ongoing Systematic Review

Meetings & Events

Listing of related events
Date Event Event Type Materials
Dec 01, 2015

NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting

Board of Scientific Counselors
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Materials

    NTP Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting Meeting Materials
    December 1, 2015

    Supplemental materials for events, meetings, and workshops prior to 2016 have been archived. These archived materials frequently include presentations, background materials, and public comments. Email us or use our contact form to request a list or copy of archived materials for the following meeting.

     
  • Members
  • Minutes

Supplemental materials for events, meetings, and workshops prior to 2016 have been archived. These archived materials frequently include presentations, background materials, and public comments. Email us or use our contact form to request a list or copy of archived materials for the following meeting.

Public Comments

Public Comments for Fluoride: Potential Developmental Neurotoxicity
Date Received Commenter(s) Affiliation In Response To
Nov 06, 2015 Bill Osmunson, D.D.S., M.P.H. Private Citizen Oct 07, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 06, 2015 Michael Connett, Esq. Fluoride Action Network Oct 07, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 24, 2015 Jay E. Sirois Consumer Healthcare Products Association Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 30, 2015 Christopher H. Fox, D.M.D., D.M.Sc. & Paul Krebsbach, D.D.S., Ph.D. American Association for Dental Research Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 30, 2015 Michael Connett, Esq. On Behalf of Fluoride Action Network Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 30, 2015 David Cappelli, D.M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D. & Howard Pollick, B.D.S., M.P.H. On Behalf of American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 02, 2015 Anthony R. Scialli Consumer Healthcare Products Association Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 07, 2015 Bill Osmunson Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 08, 2015 Richard Sauerheber Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 11, 2015 Kronah Wood No Affiliation Listed Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 29, 2015 Karen Favazza Spencer Moms Against Fluoridation Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Dec 29, 2015 Ken Perrott Making Sense of Fluoride, Inc. Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 07, 2016 C. V. Howard, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D., F.R.C.Path. Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 08, 2016 Andreas Schuld Parents of Fluoride-Poisoned Children Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 08, 2016 Susan Kanen Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 08, 2016 Audrey Adams Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 08, 2016 Robin Warwick, Au.D., B.S. Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jan 08, 2016 Michael Connett & Chris Neurath Fluoride Action Network Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Oct 28, 2016 Bill Osmunson Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Nov 23, 2016 Bill Osmunson Private Citizen Nov 23, 2015 Federal Register notice
Jul 10, 2016 Bill Osmunson, D.D.S., M.P.H. Private Citizen Systematic Literature Review on the Effects of Fluoride on Learning and Memory in Animal Studies, NTP Research Report 1
Aug 15, 2016 Gary M. Whitford, Ph.D., D.M.D. College of Oral Medicine, Augusta University Systematic Literature Review on the Effects of Fluoride on Learning and Memory in Animal Studies, NTP Research Report 1

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